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Parks and transport consultation at Bowler

Posted by SCe Comments Off on Parks and transport consultation at Bowler

People turned up for the consultation of Local and Sports Parks, Regional Parks and Transport at the Piha Bowling Club on Saturday 1 October.

It was a good turn-out, several email lists having sent reminders – though there were few new faces and only a small number were bach owners.

Local Parks was consulting on a raft of plans including:

  • Options for the driveway through the Domain which annoys neighbours with dust and allows young drivers to do wheelies. People do not want to formalise the area, but a solution is needed, and one that will work.
  • Local parks reiterating that it is watching the convergence of the Wekatahi and Marawhara Streams but has no plans to take bulldozers onto the beach to separate them unless the road is threatened.
  • Plans for refurbishment of toilets and showers opposite the Store. These would involve separating camper and public loos and providing disability access. Issue is cost, with refurbishment of serviceable Lockwood toilet block between $120,000 (budgeted) and  $350,000 (unbudgeted) with the cost of total rebuild in tilt slab concrete $500,000 (unbudgeted).
  • Mid-Beach dune fences are to be lifted and repositioned, with new ropes and reduced accessways.
  • Sportsfield in Domain is to be levelled which involves importing top soil, scheduled for April 2012.
  • Six water tanks in Camp ground are proposed for shifting towards the  east on northern boundary of the Campground to make better visibility of toilet block.
  • Work on Piha dunes that were recently reshaped and planted is to be reviewed by a coastal specialist to see how sand removal can be minimised in the future.

Regional Parks reported on the new bridge at Piha Mill Camp and Kauri Die Back.

Transport got the most attention with a certain amount of dismay at concrete footpaths being constructed in many locations.

Seaview Road footpath

Safe walking is supported, but questions are asked as to why this needs to result in a rash of white concrete footpaths around Piha, as opposed to levelled surfaces that are grassed. The final extent of these works is not clear, as they do not entirely conform to those previously seen by some members of the Community.

Wooden barriers have replaced metal ones in plans for the Piha Hill Lookout which was generally welcomed, but it is still rather structured for many, with too many chevrons.

  • Mesh gravel path at Little Lion Rock Corner

    Particular attention was attracted by a mesh and gravel footpath behind the bunds at Little Lion Rock Corner, an area which had already been redesigned following an extensive consultation by Waitakere City Council  in 2006. See consultation below. The appearance of gravel paths within the beachfront parkland at this location surprised many as environmentally undesirable (gravel in dunes) and unfriendly to barefooted beachgoers and surfers, and any mention of a  was contradicted by the construction of a new wooden bridge to take people through a small indentation in the dunes. A Site consultation like the earlier one would have provided more opportunity for actual beach users as opposed to locals to comment.

  • Plans for mobility parking in front of the Post Office have morphed into structured plans to meet other objectives including plans to take footpaths under old and historic pohutukawas, within drip-lines and over roots, something residents are discouraged (or prevented) from doing.

What is lacking in Auckland Transport’s approach is an overall approach to Piha, what it is trying to achieve – what are the objectives –  and how it intends to protect the beauty and landscape of Piha. However, it is probably too late for that.

2006 Little Lion Rock Corner Consultation with Renne Davies of WCC – click to make larger

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