Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people as the NRA – opposing the project and it appears that their appeal is just on operational matters, not opposing the project itself.
The second-to-last residents group holding up construction of the $33.5 million SkyPath bridge has withdrawn its appeal in the Environment Court.
The planned SkyPath would be a tube-like structure suspended beneath Auckland Harbour Bridge for use by for pedestrians and cyclists, with an entrance and exit point at Northcote Point.
On Wednesday, August 24, the Northcote Residents’ Association withdrew its appeal against Auckland Council’s resource consent for the SkyPath.
One other residents’ group is still appealing the SkyPath resource consent: the Northcote Point Heritage Preservation Society (NPHPS).
However, the NPHPS do not object to the SkyPath project outright but rather have requirements for its operation including: limitations on user numbers, a suitable parking scheme and their own recommended operating hours.
I don’t know the reasons the NRA withdrew their appeal but it wouldn’t surprise me if the cost of funding lawyers and experts to speak for them simply became too much, especially when compared against the chance of winning. We do know the NRA were actively trying to crowdsource funding with this givealittle page.
Of course saying that NPHPS are only seeking operational changes likely doesn’t reflect the true story as they could be seeking operational restrictions so tough as to try and make Skypath pointless.
Regardless of the reason, this is great news and hopefully means that consenting issues can soon been put behind us and focus can shift to construction.
There is no indication yet when funding could start but I’m hopeful we could see people crossing the harbour under their own steam, on foot or bike, by next summer.