A group of Cromwell residents are disappointed a legal
opinion could see their local community board agree to
building a BMX bike park in their midst.
The Neplusultra Reserve Residents Association opposed the
building of a bike park on the recreation reserve when it
previously came before the Cromwell Community Board.
The board agreed in principle to lease part of the reserve to
proponents of the bike park in May, but at its June meeting,
the association, through a lawyer, claimed the board's
process when considering the proposal had been flawed.
That was because, among other things, the board was required
to consider other possible locations for the bike park and
because the reserve management plan was overdue for its
At that meeting, the board postponed any decision so it and
the Central Otago District Council could seek a legal
The advice of lawyer Graeme Todd was that it was safe for the
board to continue the process.
"It is my opinion that there is nothing raised in the
concerns expressed by the residents' association via their
lawyers ... which is of any concern to the council or the
community board and that establishes the reporting and
decision-making process that has been followed to date is
unlawful," he said.
He also said the use of the reserve as a bike park would be
consistent with the management plan and that because
consideration of the lease for the bike park had begun before
the management plan needed to be reviewed, "nobody could be
said to be prejudiced by the fact that the review has not
Association spokesman John Quinn said they were disappointed
with the opinion and, if the bike park went ahead, it would
"go against the spirit and intent of the current reserve
management plan, which promotes preservation of the natural
environment and continued public access in conjunction with
sporting and recreational usage".
A report by council property officer Brian Taylor to be
considered by the board on Monday recommends it reaffirm its
decision to grant the lease in principle, with conditions
including prohibition of amplified sound systems, replanting
and landscaping where appropriate, restricted hours of use,
and display of a number to report vandalism or misbehaviour.
Bike park committee vice-president Paul Bisset said the group
did not want to comment until after the board meeting.