Motorsport park project progressing

Plans for a multimillion-dollar motorsport park at Cromwell are still up to speed, resource consent having been finalised recently.

"There's been a few delays but it certainly hasn't stalled. The project's still progressing at a good pace and we've quite recently gained final resource consents so can now proceed with confidence," Cromwell Motorsport Ltd chairman Ian Begg said yesterday.

The project, first mooted eight years ago, includes a vehicle testing facility, motorsport racing venue, specialist driver facilities and an industrial park associated with motoring activities.

The Central Otago District Council initially granted resource consent more than two years ago but 16 Cromwell residents appealed the decision and the matter was decided by the Environment Court.

The court's decision, in March last year, partly upheld the appeal and ordered consent conditions to be modified. It said the number of race days a year should be limited to 16.

"There were a few technical matters left to sort out between the parties and that's happened now and consent has been finalised so we can proceed with our plans," Mr Begg said.

The Environment Court conditions meant some changes to the original plans but the group behind the park was excited about the prospects.

"This venue will provide a place where people can drive their cars in the spirit in which cars were designed to be driven. With modern transport regulations and policing, it's difficult for anyone ... who wants to have a drive beyond the road rules to be able to do that," he said.

Mr Begg declined to put a figure on how much the development would cost but said it was a "multimillion" project.



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