Independent planning commissioners Stuart Kinnear, Noreen Barton and Brian Hasell heard the application and granted consent subject to a number of conditions.
Mayor Kerry Prendergast is pleased another ICSC project milestone has been reached. "I'm really happy with the decision. We can certainly live with the conditions that have been set - and it's fair to say that none of them were a surprise, such was the thoroughness of our work leading up to this."
"I think it's a commonsense decision and we will now be able to take the next steps in this important project."
Some of the more significant conditions relate to:
- Use of traffic management plans. Generic traffic management plans will be prepared for tournament events (expected to attract between 600 and 2,599 people to the site), as proposed by the Council but with some rewording. Special events (which will attract between 2,600 and 4,000 people) will require a management plan as proposed by the Council and will be limited to two per year.
- Noise controls. The commissioners adopted the three maximum noise levels suggested by the Council but adjusted the times they apply. They stipulate a one hour 'wind-down' period to begin at 10.00pm, with reduced noise levels.
- Use of construction management plans. These will focus on construction noise, traffic, dust and other similar nuisances.
- Travel demand management plan. The Council agrees the consent should be subject to a travel demand management plan being prepared and implemented.
- Roading improvements. These will be implemented before operation for sporting activities begins.
Councillor John Morrison, the City Council's Economic Development and Recreation Portfolio Leader, also welcomed the decision. "The conditions reinforce the Centre's intended community focus, so we're happy about that. The sports codes are hugely supportive of the Centre and it will be a brilliant facility for the whole community."
Mayor Prendergast adds: "The granting of resource consent means we can not only move to address a chronic shortage of facilities for community sports and recreation in the city, but the timing means we can also provide a bit of a shot in the arm to the local construction industry. That's in line with today's reports of central government bringing forward hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure spending to stimulate the economy.
"It's also worth noting that the longer we delay this project, the more expensive it will be to meet demand."
The decision has a 15 working day appeal period. Construction on the ICSC is anticipated to begin in April.