ZQN Airport extension 'nationally significant'
Environment Minister Nick Smith this week said the Environment Court would consider a “nationally significant” application to extend Queenstown Airport.
The airport wants to buy a 19ha site owned by nearby Remarkables Park. Remarkables Park, in turn, does not want to sell and has development plans for a nine-hole golf course.
The Southland Times reports it will be up to the Environment Court to decide which plan wins. Remarkables Park director Alastair Porter yesterday said it and the airport’s board had been in discussions for more than a year because the airport wanted more land. Mr Porter said the corporation already had land available on the northern side of the airport but
preferred Remarkables-owned land to the south, an area known as Frankton Flats.
The land was priceless, Remarkables Park was not going to sell and did not want the money, he said. Concept plans for a new golf course were put on hold when the airport suggested buying more land. Because the site was designated under the Resource Management Act, the airport was entitled to seek an acquisition ruling to buy land.