Awa­puni en­trance plans rile res­i­dents

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JA­NINE RANKIN

Res­i­dents liv­ing next to Awa­puni Racecourse are ob­ject­ing to plans to bring traf­fic through their usu­ally quiet cul-de-sac to a planned new en­trance.

A new lay­out that in­cludes the cre­ation and sale of eight sec­tions on Grand Oaks Dr op­po­site ex­ist­ing hous­ing, is be­ing con­sid­ered by re­source man­age­ment com­mis­sion­ers.

The planned grand en­trance would be cre­ated op­po­site an­other cul-de-sac, Don­caster Ct, and

the ex­ist­ing en­trance off Racecourse Rd would be closed most of the time.

Don­caster Ct res­i­dent Jeff Brown said the changes and re­sult­ing ex­tra traf­fic would have se­ri­ous ad­verse ef­fects on the area, and on safety.

He and other res­i­dents counted more than 2000 ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing and leav­ing the site dur­ing the Magic of Christ­mas mar­kets.

On-street park­ing along Grand Oaks Drive was also at a premium, ef­fec­tively re­duc­ing the street to one-way traf­fic.

Res­i­dent Ca­t­rina Tymkin, who has been liv­ing in the area for two and a half years, said she had bought there be­cause of the park­like sur­round­ings, views, and quiet res­i­den­tial na­ture.

‘‘We paid a premium for this spe­cial en­vi­ron­ment,’’ she said.

There were no guar­an­tees, but she said she had been as­sured there were no fur­ther plans for res­i­den­tial sub­di­vi­sion.

The Grand Oaks Res­i­dents Group’s key ob­jec­tion was to the new en­trance.

Spokes­woman Lisa Poyn­ton said turn­ing a quiet cul-de-sac into the main public en­trance would have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the area’s char­ac­ter.

Grand Oaks Dr res­i­dent John Salmon said he had moved to the area less than 18 months ago. He knew about the sub­di­vi­sion plans, but not the pro­posal to shift the main en­trance.

He said over­flow park­ing from large events was al­ready a prob­lem in Grand Oaks Dr, and by sell­ing off land avail­able for park­ing for res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment, RACE would be cre­at­ing ‘‘more chaos’’.

How­ever, RACE chief ex­ec­u­tive Alasdair Robert­son said the im­pact on on-street park­ing af­ter the changes would be neg­li­gi­ble, if not zero.

That was be­cause park­ing ar­eas would be much bet­ter laid out.

‘‘There will be more than suf­fi­cient park­ing at the venue,’’ Robert­son said.

The hear­ings were con­tin­u­ing.

WAR­WICK SMITH/ FAIRFAX NZ

The gates at Awa­puni Racecourse could re­main closed.

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