July, 2021The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) has confirmed that it has
been in dialogue with the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club around
relocating from the current Gorge Road site since 2017.
The lease for the present location expired in 2018 and the council
identified at that stage that it required the land to support ongoing
infrastructure and parking projects as part of the wider town centre
Council General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby
confirmed that a new site at Kerry Drive Recreation Reserve has been
the focus for four years and was a move long supported by both the
Queenstown Mountain Bike Club and the council.
It is disappointing to hear the QTMBC is now saying they are unhappy
with the relocation as QLDC has been collaborating with them on the
project since 2017. Both parties worked together on finding an
equivalent if not better site for the club, close to town and with
features such as an available water source, tree coverage and space for
A proposal from QTMBC presented to QLDC in November, 2018, also
cited the new sites terrain as having great gradients and contours
enabling the club to make use of this area and different contours to
build different size jumps to suit beginner to advanced bikers.
Mr Hansby added that QLDC, has subsequently funded investigations into
the preferred site and progressed the consent on behalf of the QTMBC.
Following consent being granted for the new Kerry Drive site, QLDC has
completed the construction of car parking and toilet facilities (at a
combined cost of approximately $400k) ready for the club to commence
construction of the new jumps. QLDC more recently has offered to
assist in the earthworks associated with forming the jumps and the
move to the new site has been positively supported by the QTMBC over
the last four years.
QLDC has also granted the QTMBC $100k towards earthworks associated
with forming the new jump park.
Responding to the suggestion that Mr Rod Drury had offered to purchase
the site QLDC Mayor Jim Boult commented that he had been approached
by Mr Drury.
Mr Drury has highlighted the special character of the jump park and
been supportive of retaining the Gorge Road site. He has also indicated
that he would be interested in the possibility of purchasing it to gift
back to Council on the condition that its current use is maintained.
While this is an outstanding gesture, the key issue for Council has been
ensuring it has land available to support these major town centre works.
We have been planning this for some years, so these last-minute
changes are challenging, especially as the new Alliance programme of
work is just getting underway.
The existing Gorge Road location has been slated to be used as a lay-
down area for construction and equipment plant for significant
infrastructure developments (alongside the recently notified use of the
Ballarat Street carpark closing from 2 August) and to provide additional
all day parking to offset the short term loss of the parking in the town
centre associated with its redevelopment.
Mr Hansby said that he understood the importance of the site to the
club and acknowledged the gesture of Mr Drury to aid in retaining it. He
confirmed that Council was continuing to look for alternatives for both
the laydown and parking areas, but noted that this would be
considerably more expensive than using council-owned land, if indeed
possible as a number of sites already investigated have for various
reasons proven unsuitable.
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