Porter slams road block

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Remarkables Park and Queenstown Lakes District Council are at loggerheads over a proposed road giving alternative access to the busy shopping centre. 

Developer Alastair Porter claims the council is sitting on its hands over a so-called arterial route to loop around Frankton’s Glenda Drive and the Shotover River end of Queenstown Airport’s runway. 

The 3km road was pencilled in on council’s official Wakatipu Transportation Study a few years ago. 

Now Remarkables Park boss Porter wants the council to pull finger on the project. He’s pushing for council to formally designate the $4-$5 million road and apply for 50 per cent funding from the Government’s New Zealand Transport Agency. 

QLDC don’t see it as a priority, the developer claims. 

Council transport boss Denis Mander says there’s a more important priority – safety. 

A new roundabout on the state highway near the death-trap Glenda Drive intersection must come before anything else, he says. 

The road Porter’s pushing for is official strategy but it’s not in the council’s long-term plan – at least not at this stage, Mander says. Yet Porter points out the base course of the new road is already being built as part of the Shotover Delta airport runway extension, a project Remarkables Park is collaborating on. 

Mander agrees, acknowledging the extension work will create a 16-metre road platform six metres below the level of the runway. 

“So there’s provision for a road to be built through there.” 

Affordability will be key, Mander adds – and Porter hints he’d make a contribution to the new road. The developer is also quick to plug the proposed route’s public benefits. 

“A third of the traffic that comes to Remarkables Park could come this way,” Porter says. 

That’s nearly 500,000 of the 1.4 million vehicles visiting the centre yearly. 

Arrowtown, Dalefield and Lake Hayes Estate shoppers would save huge time and distance, while pressure would also be taken off the very congested intersection at Frankton Village, Porter adds. 

Post-recession, Remarkables Park is probably the largest property developer left standing in the Wakatipu, he says. 

“And we’re trying desperately to do development work. 

“Roading enables property development,” Porter says. 

Development brings economic benefits to the district and to the district’s council, he adds. 

“No roads, no property development.”