‘No heli-pad in our back yard’

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Arthurs Point residents have slammed proposals to build an “intrusive” heli-pad near their rural homes.

Gertrude’s Saddlery Ltd has applied for resource consent for a landing pad to be built on its land in Atley Road.

It would be used for one flight per day.

Several residents living nearby have objected, arguing the pad would lead to high noise levels and may set a precedent to allow more disruptive flights in their neighbourhood in future.

Resident Claire Antill, in her objection, says: “Arthurs Point community already worked so hard to keep the commercial helicopters to a minimum … we absolutely do not want a landing pad right in our back yard.”

A similar application by Australian billionaire Tim Roberts for a heli-pad on his 12-hectare property in nearby Malaghans Rd is currently on hold after residents voiced their concerns.

Mathias Terrace residents Judith and Keith Stewart objected to the Gertrude’s Saddlery Ltd plans, saying they “most certainly do not want this intrusion” in an area with more houses being built.

Noel Saxon, another Mathias Tce resident and boss of guided walks company Ultimate Hikes, says: “There has been a history with issues of helicopter noise in the area in the past. I wouldn’t be too keen on having more regular helicopter flights coming over my place.”

Gertrude’s Saddlery Ltd’s director is Andrew Fairfax, who founded Queenstown travel company Active Adventures.

Fairfax, a pilot himself, didn’t respond to requests for a comment before deadline.

Chiles Ltd reviewed the noise assessment on behalf of Queenstown’s council.

It concluded that “given the short infrequent sound .. it is considered the noise effects should be acceptable in this environment that already contains helicopter and other anthropogenic sound”.

The application has been put on hold at the request of the applicant.

The council has not yet decided whether to make the application notified or non-notified.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz