Skyline’s project faces appeal

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A well-known local’s challenging Skyline Queenstown’s $150 million bid to totally redevelop its famous gondola-based tourist facility.

It’s understood Basil Walker is lodging a High Court appeal against the resource consent, which was granted by the Environment Court in February following a lengthy application process.

Walker couldn’t be contacted this week, but his main concern’s the fire risk posed by a substantially larger facility, which also includes a five-level carpark near a new base terminal.

Quickfall says he’s had a few chats with Walker, and says his concerns “aren’t unreasonable. We’re more than happy to work with Basil and address any concerns he has – it’s more constructive to do that outside of court”.

He says Skyline’s very conscious of the fire risk, as is the Environment Court.

“Suddenly we’re putting in a 10-seater gondola, versus four – there are going to be a lot more people on the hill, so a part of our planning is to accommodate that issue.”

Quickfall says the court, as a consent condition, directed Skyline, the council and other Bob’s Peak operators to get together and formulate a plan.

He recently discussed the matter with local mayor Jim Boult and council chief executive Mike Theelen.

“We’re happy for Basil to have an input into that.”

Walker’s been credited by many as the visionary behind Arrowtown golf course resort, Millbrook, developed Fernhill’s shopping centre and has argued for a long-haul international airport in Northern Southland. In recent times he’s also been a council watchdog.