Big bike-park plan gets a push

BIKE PARK FAVOURED: 640 submissions have been received by the council.
BIKE PARK FAVOURED: 640 submissions have been received by the council.

Christchurch mountainbikers are pleading for the city council to approve a $22 million adventure park in the Port Hills.

Hundreds have written submissions to the council urging it to approve a resource consent application allowing the development of the Christchurch Adventure Park.

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

Some 640 submissions have been received, with 35 against.

The park, which will be unique in New Zealand, will include more than 100 kilometres of downhill mountainbike routes, a 1.8km-long 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 220 cars, walking trails, a bike school and rock climbing activities.

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

Christchurch mountainbiker Jason Blair said in his submission, the park would make Christchurch more of a destination for those wanting adventure because at the moment it was only an airport and a hub to get to other locations with decent adventure attractions.

"Christchurch needs some love, some life put back into it. I need a reason to stay . . . at the moment all I can see is reasons to leave."

Mountainbiker and New Brighton resident Wayne Dahren said Christchurch needed a positive development like the park, especially after the events of the past few years.

"It will be a morale booster and will encourage other development and investment."

Nearby business owners are also happy about the plan but, like nearby residents, they are concerned about the effect on traffic flows.

Shalamar Florist and Gifts owner Sue Abbott said anything that was going to bring more people into the area would be a good thing for the Cracroft shops.

Baby Belle owner Deanne Dowding said the park would put the area on the map but she was anxious about the traffic.

The Cracroft Residents Association supported the application but wanted to see traffic lights installed at the Worsleys and Cashmere Rd intersection.

If the application was successful, construction would start in March and take 12 months to complete, developers said. A hearing date is yet to be set.

The Press