Lack of consultation on road irks club

Bypassed? Wanaka Golf Club chairman David Smallbone believes the club should have been consulted...
Bypassed? Wanaka Golf Club chairman David Smallbone believes the club should have been consulted over a suggested new road through the course.PHOTO: MARK PRICE
The 1100-member Wanaka Golf Club is wondering why it has not been consulted over major plans for the Wanaka town centre.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council's draft master plan is due to be made public next month and could show a new road through the golf course - from Anderson Rd to Golf Course Rd - intended to reduce congestion in the town centre.

Club chairman David Smallbone said this week such a bypass, if it went ahead, would have a "massive" effect on the golf course - particularly four holes.

It would "take out" all of hole 10 and the green of hole 15, it would shorten hole 16 or require it to be realigned and it could also take out the green of hole 18.

"It would be totally disruptive to the golf course."

Mr Smallbone said the 56ha course was the envy of towns all over the world because of the way it was situated.

"So to come and desecrate something like that when there are plenty of alternatives ..."

Mr Smallbone said instead of putting a new road through the golf course, an arterial road could be built from State Highway 84 to Ballantyne Rd - through the nearby Three Parks subdivision - which would connect "perfectly" with Golf Course Rd.

Mr Smallbone said the golf course was on Crown reserve so there would be a "lot of hoops" for the council to go through to obtain use of the land.

The club has a 33-year lease in perpetuity, and Mr Smallbone expected the council would have to pay millions of dollars of compensation to the club to enable the course to be reconfigured.

"I can't see the ratepayers being very happy about, firstly, having to pay compensation to the golf club and then, secondly, pay for the road when they could get a developer to pay for the road right next door."

Mr Smallbone said part of the problem was that planning was being done by "desktop consultants" in Auckland "without empathy or consideration for the locals".

Deputy mayor Calum MacLeod said yesterday he understood three members of the reference group set up to provide community input into the master plan were members of the golf club.

The council is due to release the draft master plan for "community engagement" on June 10, complete with drop-in sessions and pop-up stands.

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