Residents fight council, Development worsens traffic black spot, opponents say

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Frankton Road traffic concerns are driving a Queenstown neighbourhood group’s opposition to council approval of a 20-unit development.

Last November, Queenstown’s council issued a resource consent to veteran developer David Broomfield’s Woodlot Properties for 20 two-bedroom apartment blocks at the end of Andrews Rd, off Frankton Rd.

The Andrews Rd Residents Group now claims the council was wrong to issue the consent on a non-notified or non-advertised basis.

This meant neighbours were unable to raise concerns about extra traffic generated by the new development on the narrow road, together with its Frankton Rd state highway intersection.

The opposition group is challenging the consent via a High Court judicial review.

Broomfield’s Brookside Apartments, currently under construction, are selling for $395,000 to $425,000.

The High Court review will consider the challenge not only to the current consent but also to an earlier non-notified consent for 12 two-bedroom units and two seven-bedroom units on the same site.

Opponents allege the earlier consent set a baseline for last year’s non-notified consent.

Andrews Rd opposition group spokesman Peter-Ray Moroney says neighbours believe the consents should have been open for public submissions because the development will increase street traffic on the road by 40 per cent.

Andrews Rd is already underwidth according to district plan standards, Moroney maintains, and the new development makes the no-exit road’s “already dangerous’’ Frankton Rd intersection even worse.

“You try and turn left out of there, you swing into the oncoming traffic – it’s not a nice feeling,” he says.

Moroney also can’t see how council planners can claim 80 additional residents on Andrews Rd will only create “less than minor” effects, the criterion for non-notified consents.

“I mean, that’s ridiculous,” he says.

“Council has to be accountable – it’s their duty of concern to us as ratepayers to see that developments such as this are controlled, particularly in Queenstown.”

In a legal opinion for the Andrews Rd group, local planning lawyer Graeme Todd says: “… we are not seeking to stop the development itself, but simply suggesting that the applicant should have been required to at least contribute to the upgrading of Andrews Rd and the intersection”.

Broomfield believes the council was correct to issue Woodlot a non-notified consent because his land is correctly zoned for the development.

However, Broomfield supports neighbourhood concerns over the standard of both Andrews Rd and its access to the Frankton Rd highway.

“It’s a disgrace to the council, to be perfectly honest.”

The developer is proposing the council put $200,000 of Woodlot’s Brookside Apartments development contribution towards improving the intersection.

Council planning & infrastructure boss Marc Bretherton says traffic engineers for Woodlot, council and NZ Transport Agency recognised the junction isn’t ideal.

However, “the additional effects of the residential development on the Andrews Rd intersection with Frankton Rd were no more than minor”.

Council consultants have designed an intersection improvement that will cost about $250,000 to undertake, he says.

“The next stage is to take this design and look at it in the context of increased traffic volumes.”

Broomfield’s offer to put his development contributions to the project is welcome “but the prioritisation of competing transport improvement option projects is through the annual plan process”, Bretherton says.