BMX starting ramp to be cut down to size

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A controversial new starting ramp at Alexandra’s BMX park will be reduced in size after the club inadvertently failed to follow the correct consent process.

Alexandra BMX Club members believed they had followed all the legal requirements when they began developing the new starting ramp at Molyneux Park in September, to have it ready for end-of-year events.

As of last week, the ramp was 5.5m high, but after neighbours raised concerns they had not been consulted, an extraordinary meeting was called by the Vincent Community Board, which voted the height be reduced to 4.5m.

It also called for a landscape plan using trees to ensure neighbours would get privacy over time.

Central Otago District Council chief executive officer Sanchia Jacobs said the club’s members had “acted in completely good faith”, as had the neighbours who had raised their concerns.

However, the club had failed to meet all its obligations before earthworks started.

Members had been told by the council that because the site was recreational land their proposal did not require a resource consent, but would need an outline plan waiver.

The club received a $50,000 grant for the project from the Vincent Community Board, and also worked with the CODC to determine options for the starting ramp.

However, the club did not receive the appropriate landowner consent required.

Club members were advised in May of that obligation, but thought they had obtained all the required permissions through other ways in which the club had engaged with the board.

BMX club representative Carole Gillions, who attended last week’s meeting, said members were “more than happy” with the outcome, which would involve reducing the ramp height by 1m.

She said the club wanted a good relationship with neighbours now and in to the future.

But Tom Wink, who is building a house in Molyneux Estate, was not pleased with the outcome.

He believed a previous meeting with council representatives had concluded the ramp would be reduced to 4m.

Mr Wink was also concerned just five residents were being invited to such meetings on behalf of the 49 people who had signed a petition on the matter.

However, Ms Jacobs said the council had decided to consult those “immediately” neighbouring the BMX park because they would be impacted most.