Golf club likely sliced

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The NZ Transport Agency is in talks with the Narrows Golf Club, which is taking a positive outlook on its course potentially being cut in two by the Southern Links roading project.

“Where we are crossing the river it’s almost in the middle of the Narrows course so we are having discussions with the golf course about if they could retain the course with an underpass,” NZTA spokesman Barry Dowsett said.

Club president John Bridle was confident the club could secure a positive outcome, he told the Waikato Times.

Dowsett said discussions with the golf club on how the impact of the road could be mitigated would canvas whether the golf course be redesigned, including being made into two, nine-hole golf courses.

Bridle said he had told club members at last Saturday’s annual meeting that he saw the development as positive. “This project is some years away and time is on our side,” he said

“NZTA has been keeping us informed and I’m reasonably positive we can work something through.”

More than 800 people attended three community information days to view the proposal and provide feedback.

Mr Dowsett said a range of factors, including ecological and social considerations, were used when assessing the preferred network, with the intention of minimising the overall effects on the district. Several hundred properties are affected by the roading proposal, although the majority are included in the Peacocke structure plan.

“Technically the network we’ve presented to the public is our preferred option but we want to test that,” Mr Dowsett said.

Long-term Tamahere resident Andrew Gibson said no-one in the tight-knit rural community was pleased with NZTA’s plans.

“No-one is happy when a potential road is pushed straight through a community,” he said.

“These plans cut through the heart of Tamahere and it’s already starting to affect the community.

“People are wanting to sell up or aren’t wanting to buy here.

“Southern Links is not an absolute absolute but properties will be designated and people will have to live with this for the next 15 to 20 years.

“After all this Transit [NZTA] might say ‘we don’t need this land any more, thanks very much’.”

Another round of information days is scheduled for April before the designation application is lodged.

Construction of the Southern Links project is not in the agency’s 10-year programme.

The Southern Links road plan aims to link State Highway 1 from Kahikatea Dr in Hamilton to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere in the southeast and SH3 from Hamilton International Airport to central and east Hamilton.

See earlier story here.

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