Harwood residents (from left) Jasmine Wilson (7), Harper Wilson (5), Briar Matthews (9) and Dali Matthews (6) found this rubbish and fireplace in the domain behind Scott Hall on Monday. Photo by Jonathan Chilton-Towle.
Harwood residents want the Dunedin City Council to know ''in
no uncertain terms'' they oppose freedom campers using the
domain behind Scott Hall.
The area was recently identified as a potential freedom
Speaking at last week's Otago Peninsula Community Board
meeting, Harwood resident Lynore White said residents held a
meeting on June 17 to discuss the possibility of freedom
camping. About 37 people attended.
''As a result of the discussion that was held, it was the
unanimous agreement of the meeting that council must know, in
no uncertain terms, that Harwood residents wish to keep
things as they are.''
She was concerned freedom campers would disturb the peace and
keep locals from enjoying community facilities.
''Harwood does not have the infrastructure to support freedom
campers and, with emergency services being some distance
away, it was felt the onus for managing freedom campers would
likely fall on residents,'' she said.
She noted that the Portobello Village Tourist Park was nearby
and did not believe the council should be competing with
Residents were also concerned about the lack of footpaths and
the narrow streets in the area. There was concern a visitor
driving too fast might hit a child or someone walking their
Residents already had problems with people camping illegally
at the domain.
Rubbish and human waste were often found in the bushes,
although it was impossible to say whether campers were
responsible, Mrs White said.
On Monday, children at the domain found three sites where
someone had defecated, and the remains of a fire.
Council parks manager Lisa Wheeler said the results of the
Harwood resident's meeting would be taken into account.
The hall's infrastructure did not allow for it to be used for
the coming season due to there being no external access to
the existing toilet facilities, she said.
''The site will remain an option for the future but not as a
Doc-style campsite that the community were discussing.''
There were no other Otago Peninsula sites with any
infrastructure ready to set up as a trial.
''As with the Harwood hall site any other sites other than
Brighton Domain would require changes to buildings to provide
external access to toilets and Brighton Domain is too close
to an existing commercial camping ground.''