Network case approved

Detailed design and construction work will begin on a Queenstown Lakes District Council active transport travel network in the Wakatipu, but residents at Tucker Beach already have concerns.

Yesterday the council voted to approve the content of the Wakatipu Active Travel Network single-stage business case, which sets out a joint $40million investment with the NZ Transport Agency for 32km of commuter trails over five years.

Tucker Beach Residents Society chairman Will Hodgson said the society was not supportive of a proposed 80m-long, 8m-high cable suspension bridge over the Shotover River, linking the proposed trail from Frankton to Arthurs Point through Tucker Beach.

Mr Hodgson said the Shotover River Gorge and the Tucker Beach Reserve were outstanding natural features and had high natural amenity and recreational values, while the river was protected as a tributary.

The bridge would "significantly diminish" the visual amenity as it would be highly visible from the surrounding area, including residential properties.

The society understood the bridge was required because the Queenstown Trails Trust was "having difficulty negotiating with private land holders at the western end of Tucker Beach Rd".

"[The society] does not consider this to be a valid reason to compromise the values of the [outstanding natural features] and amenity of the area."

Transport strategy manager Tony Pickard said any issues would be dealt with through the detailed design stage and the resource consent process.

"However ... there's nothing to stop [us] engaging with those parties now to understand what the alternatives might be."

Councillor Alexa Forbes said it had been a "massive, massive job" to get the project this far and was confident the council could work through any residents' issues.

Cr Val Miller said was excited about the benefits for community health.

"When I came to Queenstown ...

we had a healthy community.

"This is going to be wonderful if we can get our kids back on to bikes and our adults as well, cycling around."

Mayor Jim Boult said despite "a couple of people who have given me grief over this in the last couple of days" he believed it was a "really good thing".


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