Car park for Skyline approved

Skyline Enterprises is a step closer to a multimillion-dollar redevelopment of its gondola and associated facilities in Queenstown.


On Wednesday, Environment Court Judge John Hassan released an interim decision on the company's planned multi-storey car park, finding it satisfied all Resource Management Act (RMA) requirements for consent, subject to a host of conditions and a final determination on Skyline's earlier application to upgrade its gondola and associated facilities.

The company plans to replace existing four-seat gondolas with 10-seaters, transporting up to 3000 people an hour, and essentially double the total area of the upper terminal and complex at Bob's Peak, including a wraparound 430sqm viewing deck.

A redeveloped base terminal is also planned.

Last August, the Environment Court issued an interim decision on that application, which was direct-referred, finding there was no reason to decline consent.

However, there were two outstanding matters Skyline had to resolve before the court could make a final decision. One was stormwater consent from the Otago Regional Council and the other was parking provisions.

Skyline subsequently direct-referred its application for the car park building in February, and a hearing was held in June.

A minute from Judge Hassan issued on Wednesday said both of the outstanding matters were "now resolved".

"Stormwater consent has been granted by Otago Regional Council. We have also released our interim decision on Skyline's car park building proposal. In essence, that decision settles all matters as to the granting of that consent, pending the determination of the Skyline gondola proposal application."

The interim decision said the parking building, planned behind Skyline's redeveloped lower terminal building, would provide for 449 parking spaces.

At least 350 would be for the "exclusive use" of Skyline's staff and visitors, another 99 for future car parking capacity and/or other users of the Ben Lomond Recreation Reserve who used the gondola for access to the reserve.

Bus and bike parking facilities were also proposed, along with improvements to mountain bike and pedestrian access.

"Subject to determination of the gondola upgrade proposal, the car park building proposal satisfies all RMA requirements for consent on the conditions [outlined]," the interim decision said.

The wide-ranging conditions related to engineering, geotechnical investigations and hazard mitigation, noise, car park use, fire mitigation and evacuation plans, among other things.

Closing submissions were limited to differences between the final version of conditions before the court and Skyline's final conditions.

The decision proper is expected early next year.