Awapuni entrance plans rile residents
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.
The gates at Awapuni Racecourse could remain closed.