Now begins the process of obtaining resource consent!
A team of consutlants and engineers Fraser Thomas Ltd were then used to aid with the issues raised by Waikato District Council.
Tony Roberts then "spent about 12 months going around and talking to neighbours and affected people within about a 5km radius so that we could apply for a ‘Land-use Resource Consent’. I received almost 100% support and no real problems – until we came up against Transit New Zealand and the Corrections Department. Transit was concerned about cars queuing up at the off-ramp and backing up the State Highway. We met up with these people for about eight weeks on end in a South Auckland Motel, to nut all this out, but eventually we got the consent with 101 conditions and having spent $1 million for a piece of paper!"
Press Release – July 2004
New Zealand is to have a new Motorsport complex comprising a sealed circuit, purpose-built garages, and apartments to service the needs of modern-day Motorsport.
The circuit, which will be called Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, will be located near the current Meremere drag strip and oval, in North Waikato, just South of Auckland.
At a time when there is much discussion about a temporary street race circuit for Auckland and the future of the Pukekohe racing circuit, the backers of the Hampton Downs project have decided to make this formal announcement of their intentions to build a modern Motorsport complex to complement the existing facilities and raise the profile of Motorsport in the Auckland area.
400 acres of farmland on which to build the Motorsport Park have already been purchased by two long-time Motorsport enthusiasts, Tony Roberts and Chris Watson, who along with Geoff Manning have previously been mainly involved with Historic Racing. Finance for the multi million dollar project is already in place.
“We are just guys who love Motorsport and are increasingly frustrated at the problems with finding a suitable venue on which to run and promote modern Motorsport,” says Roberts.
“We are not trying to muscle in on the Australian V8 Supercar Championship or stymie any other plans to further develop Pukekohe, Taupo or Manfeild circuits. Rather, we support their plans as by upgrading their facilities and the promotion of Motorsport, with the addition of our modern circuit, the whole profile and popularity of Motorsport will be raised. However, should there be any problems with the Auckland City road circuit, then we will have a suitable alternative in the Greater Auckland area.”
Hampton Downs circuit – which has already been designed – will be 3.8km in length, over undulating countryside. It has been configured so that it can also be divided into two separate circuits – one 2.6km in length and the other 1-1km for club circuit type racing. It will be built to FIA category 2 level – a higher level than any other current circuit in New Zealand and easily upgradeable to category 1 (for races such as Formula 1) should there be that requirement.
A major feature of Hampton Downs Motorsport Park will be 60 - 80 apartments built at trackside. These two storied apartments will offer enthusiasts, companies, teams, investors – whoever – an opportunity to be an integral part of the Motorsport scene in the upper North Island. These two-bedroom apartments, with a ground level double garage, will have unimpeded views over much of the circuit.
The acquisition of this land to build this Motorsport complex has been made possible by the overall future plans for the area. Already there is the Champion Dragway and dirt oval in place, and plans are well developed for a new Corrections department prison, and a landfill, as well as further plans to develop the wider area for recreational activities. As Roberts says, “Waikato District Council Mayor, Mr Peter Harris is being incredibly positive about the proposed Motorsport Park”.
In addition, the re-alignment and upgrading of the State Highway 1 Expressway from Auckland and from Hamilton, as well as a new Hampton Downs overbridge will ensure easy access to the circuit and minimal delays when leaving.
Roberts and Watson say that the ‘Road in a Park” concept would be fully endorsed and local Waikato man, Eion Scarrow, has offered his assistance in a tree planting program on the site. Local farmers and residents are enthusiastic about the offer of a free ‘Neighbours’ pass to the race meetings at the Motorsport Park.
“Pukekohe Circuit is in such constant demand for race meetings and testing etc that it is just impossible to satisfy the demands of the Motorsport enthusiast in the Auckland region. Another circuit will be complimentary to Pukekohe’s present operation and will further promote Motorsport in the Northern region. Apart from the trackside unit complex, we intend to have 32 covered garages in the pit area, a skid pan, a kart track, and even an area for 4WD activity.” There will also be an associated industrial unit development with access to the Motorsport Park and circuits for testing and development.
All plans for the development of Hampton Downs Motorsport Park hinge on the granting of Resource Consent, possibly by early 2005. Once that is granted, then more details can be divulged of the timing to fully develop the complex and hold the first race meeting. If everything goes to plan, this is likely to be late in 2006.
Selling of Apartments
“The construction of the apartments, and the selling of them, was crucial to the whole scheme – especially the financial planning. Fortunately we had a positive response, quickly selling them all with deposits paid in about 5 weeks. The 80 apartments were in huge demand and it was immediately apparent that many people saw the need for such a facility close to Auckland. By settlement date when the apartments were completed in November 2009, the value of these apartments was $26 million. While some apartment owners have decided to live in them permanently others allow us to rent them out as managed apartments. This is through a subsidiary company, Hampton Downs Motor lodge Ltd, with on site managers in place”.
|© 2014 Hampton Downs Motorsport Park ||