21 Aug 2015

Basin Reserve flyover appeal rejected

8:02 pm on 21 August 2015

Plans for a flyover alongside Wellington's Basin Reserve have been shot down for a second time.

An artist's impression of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover.

An artist's impression of the proposed flyover in Wellington. Photo: NZTA

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has lost its appeal in the High Court against an independent board of inquiry's decision to deny resource consent for the flyover.

The agency had proposed the $90 million two-lane overbridge, just 20 metres from the historic cricket ground, as the solution to the area's congestion problems.

The board of inquiry denied resource consent for the project in August 2014.

It found the agency had not fully considered alternatives, and the proposal would have had an adverse effect on the area's heritage and appearance.

In its appeal, the agency cited what it called 35 errors of law in the board's decision, but Justice Brown has today found the board acted lawfully in denying the project.

The court has not yet decided whether to award costs.

Read the judge's decision (PDF, 816 KB)

Opponents ready for further fight

Save the Basin spokesperson Tim Jones said he was delighted with the judge's decision but the process may not be over yet.

"There is still the potential that the transport agency could seek to take the legal process further. They shouldn't, we hope they don't - but if they do, we'll be ready for them."

Mr Jones said it had been a long expensive process to this point.

Figures released to Radio New Zealand in September 2014 showed the Government agency spent nearly $11 million from 2012 until the proposal was declined.

Of that, $3.4 million was spent on Resource Management Act (RMA) submissions and $2.3 million was spent on legal fees.

The NZTA, which can appeal to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal if it wishes, said it was too early to speculate about what would happen next.

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