The company building a $125 million retirement village on Nelson’s port hills say an associated new road and set of traffic lights could “open up the area”.
Construction has already started on the road that will link the new Coastal Views Lifestyle Village that will eventually connect Princes Dr with Waimea Rd.
The road requires a new set of traffic lights, at the intersection of the new road, which will also cross the Railway Reserve – but there have been claims that the lights will worsen peak time congestion on Waimea Rd.
The developers of the retirement village are Questral Corporation, formally known as Alpine View Retirement Group. The vendor of the land and company undertaking the roading project and lights is roading contractor Kevin Blair who is behind the Tasman Heights subdivision.
Chairman of Questral Corporation, John Ryder, told the Nelson Weekly that although they have no involvement in the lights or roading project, they believe a new road connecting Waimea Rd with Princes Dr could be a “positive thing” for Nelson and that having access to the port hills could have the ability to draw traffic away from Waimea Rd.
“I’m no traffic expert, but the advice we’ve received is that it will not make Waimea Rd more congested and that the road can facilitate it,” he says.
“The traffic lights are a Nelson City Council requirement. However, we believe it will open up the area due to creating a loop and provide another exit from Waimea Rd.”
The lights are set to be installed within the next four months.
John says there has been discussion about what the road could mean for the Southern Link.
“We would have to facilitate that if it did ever happen.”
A traffic assessment report from the developers of the village also identified that “the traffic related effects of the proposed retirement development will have minor traffic related effects across the local network.”
The new retirement village will feature residential units to house up to 300 people, including 180 standalone units, 60 apartments and 50 care beds. An on-site pavilion will also house restaurants, a movie theatre, gym, indoor swimming pool and spa.
John says they are close to lodging building permits with the council for the care facility, the first 15 houses and the pavilion.
“We expect to start construction in April, subject to consents.”
He predicts the development would take five years.
John says its crucial we look to Nelson’s future.
“The elderly population is set to rise over the next 20 years and we have a shortage of facilities close to the city.”
The company are also getting ready to open their second Christchurch facility, and are poised to develop a 15-hectare, $150 million site in Hamilton while seeking more North Island sites.
While a relatively new company, established in 2012, Qestral has a wealth of experience, with John being the joint CEO of Ryman Healthcare for 18 years.
Nelson Intermediate principal Hugh Gully says the new lights will have “minimal impact” on students who use the Railway Reserve.