‘Continued access’ spurs plan support

The site of a proposed  public track, car park and residential plot near Wye Creek. Photo: Patch...
The site of a proposed public track, car park and residential plot near Wye Creek. Photo: Patch Landscape
Nature-lovers could soon benefit from a new public track accessing the mouth of Wye Creek and Lake Wakatipu.

Lake Wakatipu Station Ltd has applied for resource consent to establish a residential building platform and undertake earthworks to upgrade access to the 5.6ha site near Wye Creek, next to Kingston Rd.

Residents living near the site, the Department of Conservation, NZ Transport Agency and  Otago Fish & Game  have all made submissions to the Queenstown Lakes District Council supporting the plans. Fish & Game environmental officer Nigel Paragreen said the group gave "unconditional" approval of the plans in a letter of support because of the promise of  "continued access to Wye Creek and Lake Wakatipu". The highest point of the site, which was previously used as a holding site to transport goods across the lake, adjoins State Highway 6 and descends towards Wye Creek to the south and Lake Wakatipu to the west.

The company wants to build a car park at the top of the current access road linking Kingston Rd with the mouth of Wye Creek and has sought to realign the lower parts of the access road.

A new pedestrian and bike track would give visitors access to the lakefront from the realigned road.

Although no official objections were made before submissions closed on Thursday, Queenstown Climbing Club conservation officer Philip Green said he was concerned about the "loss of vehicle access to the outlet of Wye Creek" and the building platform being close to the river mouth, which was sometimes used for post-climb meet-ups.

He voiced support for the addition of a public track but said the car park would be too far away from the waterfront area.

The Queenstown Trails Trust neither supported nor opposed the plans.

In his submission, trust chief executive Mark Williams said the trust was "seeking public access linking the Wye Creek recreation area to a potential future lakeside trail between Jacks Point and Kingston".

If Lake Wakatipu Station Ltd’s plans were approved,  a trail route provided as an easement in favour of the QLDC would be a "vital option" to access the proposed lakeside trail and a future pedestrian bridge crossing Wye Creek.

Lake Wakatipu Station Ltd has already agreed to include a right of way easement on the access road in favour of Ngai Tahu to allow entry to the nohoanga land south of the site.

Some indigenous vegetation would be removed to allow the roadworks to be carried out and the unused part of the existing road would be revegetated if the plans went ahead.

In his submission, Doc Wakatipu operations manager Geoff Owen said his approval was "limited to the likely adverse effects of the proposal on the department’s interests and shouldn’t be construed as approval to effects on the environment generally".

joshua.walton@odt.co.nz 

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