Extended hours not permitted

A Central Otago District Council hearings panel decision is ''no skin off our nose'' for the Cromwell Motorsport Park Trust.

The hearings panel did not decide in favour of the trust on the extending of opening hours or the use of the auditorium, in relation to changes to a land use consent applied for by the trust.

At a hearing earlier this month, the changes were opposed by Cromwell man Alan McKay.

Changes to the consent would have allowed the facility ''The Nose'', on the corner of State Highway 6 and Sandflat Rd, about 120m from Mr McKay's house, to extend opening hours, play music outdoors, and use an auditorium on site to host ''special film events''.

Highlands Motorsport Park manager Mike Sentch said the panel's decisions were ''no skin off our nose''.

''We've got to go with what the council says.

''We're not grumbling about it. We will live and adapt with it to deliver the best product that we can.''

The trust had applied to change the consent to ''show footage'' rather than to ''show footage of the local area and its products only''.

The hearings panel considered that conditions of the consent would not be amended to allow ''special film events''.

''The potential would exist for dinner and movie packages or some other commercial arrangement to be entered into which would enable the auditorium to be used as a cinema,'' the decision read.

However, Mr Sentch said amendments were made to allow footage to be shown for events such as product launches and presentations.

The hearings panel also concluded opening hours would remain 9am-10.30pm, with all persons off the premises by 11pm.

''The council considers that the additional period for operation now proposed will have a significant adverse effect on the McKay family,'' the panel's decision read.

The panel did consider it reasonable to permit acoustic music outdoors until 9pm and for the existing speaker system to play ''background music'' until 9pm, ''provided it is not discernable beyond the boundary of the site''.

Mr Sentch said the trust might return to the consent changes in the future, but was not going to ''rush into it''.

''We are always chipping away at things; that's the best way to do it - prove ourselves, get a bit more history behind us and show that we can responsibly control what is happening.''

The trust was ''certainly not'' going to appeal the decisions of the hearings panel, he said.

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