Port Hills bike park gets go-ahead

Developers of a $25 million adventure park in Christchurch's Port Hills hope to start construction this year after the project was given the go-ahead.

Commissioners announced yesterday they had granted the project resource consents after a three-day hearing in November.

Several conditions relating to noise, hours of operation and traffic management have been put in place.

Canadian developers Select Evolution want to build the park on 358 hectares of forested land between Dyers Pass, Worsleys and the Summit roads.

The park, which will be unique in New Zealand, will include more than 100 kilometres of downhill mountainbike routes, a 1.8km chairlift for people and bikes, 2km of zip lines through the forest, a mountain coaster and a restaurant and bar seating up to 180 people.

It will also include accommodation for up to 252 people in a combination of five lodges and 14 cottages.

There will be parking for 235 cars, walking trails, a bike school and rock-climbing activities.

The land is owned by McVicar Holdings and will be leased by Select Evolution for a 50-year term.

Select Evolution president Fiona Sutton said yesterday she was delighted but had yet to fully digest all the conditions.

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"This decision means we can progress to the next stage. We can get on with the detailed design."

She hoped construction would start this year but development would be reliant on weather conditions.

The company, which is based in Whistler, Canada, and has 36 years of experience in designing, building and operating international leisure and entertainment projects, has spent four years and $3m getting the project to this stage.

Of the more than 640 submissions received, only 35 were against.

Sutton said the support had been "phenomenal" and one of the reasons the company chose Christchurch for the development.

"We had a lot of options elsewhere in the world but we always felt that this was a great fit and the local support was key to that."

Christchurch mountainbiker Wayne Dahren said it was a brilliant decision and he would have been disappointed if consent had been denied.

There was a lot of anticipation in the mountainbiking community about the park but many were sceptical it would go ahead.

"I've got friends who are already putting money aside so they can buy a season pass," he said.

To see the full decision, click here.

 - The Press

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