Chopper stoppers’ fighting fund

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An Arthurs Point lobby group is calling for a $100,000 war-chest to fight chopper noise. 

The Arthurs Point Protection Society has already spent up to $36,000 and hundreds of hours preparing an Environment Court challenge against a helicopter landing pad consented for their neighbourhood, secretary/treasurer Chris Streat says. 

However, he estimates the hearing will cost the society another $40,000 for a lawyer and an acoustic consultant.
And a further $60,000 is needed to appeal Queenstown Lakes District Council’s Plan Change 27A, approved this month. 

Streat’s 55-member society has pamphleted the Arthurs Point community asking households for $200-$300 each for the helipad appeal – a pre-hearing conference is set for May 7. 

QLDC paperwork says the plan change simply updates noise-measurement standards. 

But Streat claims under a proposed new helicopter standard, a helipad could be noise-compliant within 80m of a rural dwelling, conducting about 46 flight movements a day with 15 minutes of idling in between. 

QLDC already supports the rule by approving the Arthurs Point facility, Streat says. 

“The result is a phenomenal difference from the district plan. 

“You can get instantaneous noise of up to 90 decibels at the facade of a building.” 

Streat says his society must fight the plan change: “There’s no point in knocking the helipad out of here if they’re bringing in a rule that they can put them in anywhere and we’re just going to get another one 80m down the road.