A frustrating week for the directors of Hampton Downs Motorsport Park has resulted in the Waikato District Council hearing panel adjourning the hearing until September 20th, due to opposition from Transit New Zealand and the Corrections department.
The first two days of the hearing had been extremely positive, with huge support from the motorsport community, Iwi and local residents in the region. Compelling evidence from Astrid Lambert, CEO of Enterprise Franklin, on the need to further develop the motorsport hub, and motorsport icon, Rob Lester's evidence backgrounding the Manfeild circuit's build and promotion was very informative and helpful for the councillors. Motorsport supporters, Ray Green, Richard Wright, Greg Terrill, Don Roy, Dynes McConnell and Kevin Vickers for Champion Dragway, all spoke eloquently about the social, employment and economic benefits for the region and for motorsport in general.
"However, it is hard to believe that the Government really wants regional development when the opposition at the hearing came from the Government Departments of Transit New Zealand and Corrections," says Tony Roberts, director of Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.
Both Transit and Corrections argued that the traffic issues had not been addressed - despite extensive information from the Park's two traffic experts, and the Council Officer's report, showing that Hampton Downs Motorsport Park could operate without disrupting traffic.
Thus, the third day of the hearings ended with the Council panel requesting that the five traffic experts representing the opposing factions, meet and resolve the issues before the 20th September hearing.
This was seen by Hampton Downs as a positive outcome, as the traffic issue is the only bone of contention and the only issue remaining to be solved.
"We are confident that these traffic issues can be resolved and believe that the information provided by the experts we had consulted was sufficient to ally any objections or concerns over this issue," says Roberts.
Meanwhile, the Motorsport Park screen planting has started along the Eastern boundary which will screen the track action from traffic running along the four lane expressway which is finally fully operational, straight to Hampton Downs!