4 May 2013

Kapiti Expressway appeal lodged

6:54 am on 4 May 2013

A community group has appealed against a decision to begin construction of the Kapiti Expressway.

A supporter of the four-lane highway, Kapiti Coast District Councillor Tony Lester, says the appeal is frustrating because it could delay construction.

An Independent Board of Inquiry gave approval for the 16km expressway last month. Construction is to begin in July.

Eighty-four property owners will have to sell their land or houses to make way for the road, which is part of the Government's roads of national significance programme.

The Save Kapiti group says the board of inquiry misapplied the law when making their decision.

Spokesperson Mark Harris said the expressway should have been considered against the previously proposed Western Link Road, which the group believes would have solved congestion issues.

But Mr Lester says while he appreciates Save Kapiti's legal rights to lodge an appeal, most Kapiti residents want the road to go ahead.

He is frustrated that the appeal may delay construction.

"We need this road, we need to get it done, Kapiti needs it as well as New Zealand and the spin-offs that will come from this road are quite significant for Kapiti - I just wish some people would wake up and realise that."

Acting mayor Roger Foley says there has already been a considerable debate over the options and people are ready to move on.

The appeal will be heard at the High Court in Wellington next month.