As new developments start to creep in around Waimea Road, we answer the burning questions as to what’s happening with one of Nelson’s busiest arterial routes.
Q: Why are there so many diggers on the hill off Waimea Rd?
A: A new retirement village is being built on the Port Hills and a new road is being formed in order to provide access to it.
The road from Princes Dr is to connect close to the old Bishopdale Pottery site on Waimea Rd, 350m north of Beatson Rd, and will be controlled by a set of traffic lights (which are being paid for by the developer).
Q: What is this new retirement village?
A: The new $125 million Coastal Views Lifestyle Village is being developed by Questral Corporation and will feature residential units to house up to 300 people, including 180 standalone units, 60 apartments and 50 care beds.
A pavilion will also house restaurants, a movie theatre, gym, indoor swimming pool and spa.
Q: When did this new road get resource consent?
A: Resource consents to allow construction of the new road and intersection on Waimea Rd were granted by the council on 11 February, 2016.
Q: Does the road go through the Station Reserve? Why wasn’t there any public consultation about this?
A: Yes, it will go through the Station Reserve. This was a non-notified resource consent, so no public consultation was required in order for council to approve this.
NCC say public consultation is required when there are significant adverse effects on the environment but the various traffic reports have concluded the impacts of this road are “no more than minor.”
Q: But the speed limit on Waimea Road is 70kmh. Won’t a new intersection be unsafe?
A: Nelson City Council is looking to seek public feedback to reduce the speed limit on the 1.3km stretch of Waimea Rd between Market Rd and Beatson Rd to 50kmh.
A recent report to council showed there have been six speed-related crashes on the 70kmh stretch of road since 2013.
Nelson Police have also raised the issue, saying that over recent months they have been receiving concerns from motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
Subject to approval at the next full council meeting on 13 December, the proposal will go out for public consultation on 14 December and close on 15 February 2019.
Q: What is the timeframe for all this work?
A: Construction of the new road is underway, and Questral Corporation have estimated that the traffic lights will be installed in the next three months.
Work on the first stage of the retirement village is expected to start in 2019.