Residents Angry About BMX Proposal

Existing and soon-to-arrive residents of the Sovereign Palms subdivision at Kaiapoi made their feelings well-known last night at a public meeting called by the Council.  They clearly do not want a BMX facility near them.  The proposed track will replace the one destroyed on the Kaiapoi riverbank by the September earthquake.  The original site cannot be used – changes in the land level have meant that it is now often under water.

The meeting was part of the consultation being undertaken prior to a resource consent application being made by the council on behalf of the BMX Club.

As with the proposal to relocate the Riverside Bowling Club to Hinemoa Park, the Council is in a very difficult position.  We are anxious to get community facilities and clubs up and running in Kaiapoi again.  Finding places to put them that are close enough to Kaiapoi so that residents (including children) can get to them easily but which don’t have neighbours living nearby is next to impossible.

Our hope is to use land that the Council already owns. We could buy land – assuming we can find a willing seller – but is there such a place that isn’t close to people’s houses?  Given the well-known pressures on the budget, buying land is not an attractive proposition from a community point-of-view.

Abandoned Red-Zone land is sometimes suggested. That is not an impossible idea but there are two difficulties. The first is that the Government has not decided what to do with the land (they are gradually taking it over as people move out).  That decision might be some time off.  The other difficulty is that the land has been classified as highly vulnerable to liquefaction and lateral spread.  It is one thing to put, say, a rugby field on it, quite another to put a facility that involves expensive buildings or earthworks.

We need ideas!


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