Consent for Soho Basin Chairlift


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Comment Share Posted on Thursday January 22nd at 12:52 p.m.

Resource consent for a new chairlift in the Soho Basin, next to the Cardrona Alpine Resort skifield, has been issued by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

The application to build the 1.2km-long, high-speed, six-person lift was lodged by Glencoe Station Limited whose sole director is John Darby, a majority shareholder in the Treble Cone skifield.

Mr Darby could not be contacted yesterday.

The Soho Basin land is owned by the Crown but music producer Mutt Lange's Soho Properties company holds the pastoral lease.

Mr Lange bought the pastoral lease land from Mr Darby in 2009, but the Otago Daily Times understands Mr Darby retained the right to develop a skifield there.

The basin is in the council's ski area sub-zone.

In its application, Glencoe said it had approval from Land Information New Zealand, as agent for the Crown, and it had used the basin for heli-skiing and other forms of skiing for several years.

Its plans show top and bottom lift stations, towers cables and other structures, rising about 370 vertical metres.

The top of the lift is 300m from the top of the Cardrona resort's Captain's Basin lift, and the application says the new lift would ''open up the maximum area of new skiable terrain within an area that can be logically connected to the established facilities at Cardrona''.

Cardrona resort general manager Bridget Legnavsky told the ODT yesterday she knew nothing about the proposal and referred inquiries to Real Journeys chief executive Richard Lauder, who is in China and could not be contacted.

Real Journeys bought the Cardrona resort in 2013.

The Soho Basin consent allows for indigenous vegetation - tussock grasslands, cushionfields, wetlands, bluffs, screes, rockfields, fellfields and snowbanks - to be cleared for the lift and access tracks, subject to conditions.

In a review of the proposal for the council, consultant landscape architect Michelle Snodgrass said while the ski area site was highly visible, at the distances from which it would be viewed the lift would be ''difficult to distinguish''.

Although it would be visible from the Cardrona resort, ''... the proposal will not be highly visible from public places within the Wakatipu Basin/Arrowtown valley floor'', she said.

Ms Snodgrass concluded the proposal would have a negligible effect on the landscape and would not cause any adverse visual effects from public places.


Source: Otago Daily Times
Article: Mark Price

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