Bridge marks end of road

Entrepreneur Peter Yealands says he is looking for a developer to complete his Kaiuma Park Estate subdivision in the Marlborough Sounds.

The Yealands Estate Wines founder and owner yesterday officially handed over to Marlborough District Council responsibility of the bridge and road he built to get traffic to the Pelorus Sound subdivision. The bridge links Twidles Island with Kaiuma Bay Rd.

Mr Yealands said the handover marked a turning point for him, after making the decision to pass on the residential subdivision to another developer.

"Bloody oath it's hard, particularly hard because I feel like I have an obligation to the people who have bought properties there," he said.

"But I have to be realistic, I can only do so much."

He had been approached by a couple of developers interested in continuing the project and was confident his vision would be completed, he said.

"I've no qualms about passing on the development to someone who has the time to put into it."

Mr Yealands began developing Yealands Estate in the Awatere Valley in 2008, which led to his quest for recognition as the most sustainable winery and vineyard in the world.

"I've always been someone to bite off more than I can chew," he said.

"The winery side of the business has really excelled but is demanding more time than I've got."

Kaiuma Park Estate was granted resource consent in 2007, but only 55 of the 220 sections had sold before the economic downturn the following year.

"There has been very little inquiry over the intervening years," he said.

The subdivision was to include a 95-berth marina, which was on hold because only three houses had been built so far.

The bridge, which cuts 20 minutes off the road trip to the opposite side of the river, and the 20 kilometre Kaiuma Bay Rd had to be completed as a condition of the resource consent for the subdivision. The road and bridge had cost about $3 million, Mr Yealands said.

Mayor Alistair Sowman was at the official handover of the bridge and road yesterday.

He said Marlborough Roads would seal the road leading to Twidles Island because the dust was a hazard to motorists travelling on State Highway 6.

The Marlborough Express