Objector to appeal bridge consent decision

A view of the proposed cable-stay bridge over the Mataura River in Gore from the east bank...
A view of the proposed cable-stay bridge over the Mataura River in Gore from the east bank looking northwest. PHOTO: GORE DISTRICT COUNCIL
The Gore District Council’s planned $3.7million bridge across the Mataura river must clear an appeal stage before construction can begin.

Gore resident Rodney Bell said he would appeal the decision of an independent panel to grant the "eyesore" a resource consent.

He was one of 25 submitters who opposed the application, which was approved on Thursday.

The cable stay bridge will be for cyclists and pedestrian use, but will also support pipelines crossing the river as part of the Gore water treatment plant upgrade project.

"It’s money being spent that doesn’t need to be spent," Mr Bell said.

"[There is] an alternative means of transporting the water across the river, that being pipes in a trench, which is considerably cheaper.

The bridge would be visible from his property, he said.

"They have decided that this wonderful bridge will look good, and they’re wrong."

The bridge would be 90m long and 39m tall at its highest point.

"I don’t think people can actually fathom just how tall this tower is going to be."

Gore resident David Gray was also "very disappointed" with the decision.

Mr Gray, who is president of the Waimea Plains Landscape Preservation Society, said the group would discuss a possible appeal at their next meeting.

Council chief executive Stephen Parry said the decision dealt "categorically" with the suggestion of a trench being dug in the river bed.

"It was a very invasive environmental step."

Beauty was in the eye of the beholder, he said.

"I’ve had people approach me and say [they] really like it.

"A bridge of this size was always going to attract attention and possibly polarise people."

fiona.ellis@odt.co.nz

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