QLDC unveil 'bold' plan to cope with growth

The following plan shows the preferred route for a new arterial road in Queenstown. Graphic: QLDC
The following plan shows the preferred route for a new arterial road in Queenstown. Graphic: QLDC
The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) today unveiled  a range of proposals to enhance Queenstown's town centre, including a new arterial route around the CBD that would run right through the present site of the town's Memorial Centre.

Planning for the "Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan" has been under way since early this year and involves several major projects.

The plan also includes changes to public transport and parking.

QLDC Mayor Jim Boult said it was a "bold" plan, but was a vital piece of work to ensure the town centre remained authentic and coped with the pressures of growth.

“We don’t want to lose Queenstown’s incredible appeal and vibe. We want our local people to feel a sense of pride and our visitors to have an authentic New Zealand experience.”

Proposals released today were shortlisted as preferred options to transform the town centre and required more work to be finalised.

They included a preferred town centre arterial route, to make travel through the town easier, which has been in the planning phase for several years.

It would go along Thompson St, Melbourne St and Man St and would require the demolition of the town's Memorial Centre, "because it provides a significantly higher quality intersection and alignment of the road at Memorial Street. It also provides for better urban design outcomes and usable land".

The centre is a war memorial, and is used regularly for community and cultural events.

The cultural, historical and sporting significance of the centre would have to be given full and careful consideration first and a new and centre would have to be built elsewhere, accompanying documents to the plan say, and alternative options are also outlined on the council's website.

Mayor Boult encouraged the community to consider the options with an open mind to the future. 

“As we look ahead, we invite you to be visionary and aspirational with us.  Some of the options, such as the new arterial, come with their own set of challenges that need careful consideration.

“The community perspective of today is critical but we also have to consider our obligations to ensure that this place we love continues to hold the magic that makes it a wholly desirable national and global destination. It’s a great challenge to have and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunities to get involved.”

He highlighted that the final work programme had to be affordable.

“We are very conscious of the cost involved in delivering the preferred options we’re putting forward. While council will bring what it reasonably can financially to the table, we will need to work hard on partnering with stakeholders, especially central government to demonstrate the regional, national and global benefit of this plan, to alleviate the burden on ratepayers.   There are also opportunities to pursue alternative funding for some of the initiatives.”

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