Board to weigh up car park proposal

Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson
A contentious proposal to convert part of Pembroke Park in Wanaka into car parking will come before the Wanaka Community Board again next week.

The board will consider proposed amendments to the Pembroke Park Reserve Management Plan, which would allow the creation of nose-in car parks along Brownston St for event and sporting use, part of which would encroach on to the park. At present, parking along Brownston St is generally parallel to the street on the grass verge. The new parking is part of a wider proposal to redevelop Brownston St.

In a report to the board, Queenstown Lakes District Council community services general manager Paul Wilson said because of the closeness of Pembroke Park to the Wanaka CBD and the pressure on parking within the CBD, there was a need to encourage turnover and minimise the amount of all-day parking by non-park users that might otherwise occur.

''It may be necessary to provide for some additional parking within the reserve should the demand from the use of Pembroke Park itself require it,'' Mr Wilson said.

''The creation of further car parking within the reserve shall only take place when all other options such as on-street parking have been exhausted.''

While there was likely to be demand for further parking to service the CBD, because the reserve had been acquired for recreation purposes and was managed under the Reserves Act, only parking directly related to the recreation activity could be located on the reserve, unless part of the land was re-designated under the Public Works Act and reclassified under the Reserves Act 1977.

The Friends of Pembroke Park group - a long-time guardian of the reserve - does not support the proposal. Member Prof John Blennerhassett said while he did not want to represent the views of the whole group, he personally believed the proposal was a ''grab'' for land to boost parking provisions for the town centre.

''It was alleged that it was parking for people who are going to use the park. Well, I mean you would have to be pretty naive to believe that that was anybody's perception of it,'' he said.

''There are alternative ways and means of getting away with parking on Brownston St which don't involve ripping off another piece of the park.

''We believe that this is going to be a constant chipping away every time somebody needs a bit more land for a public facility which has really nothing to do with parks and reserves ... and we believe it's our duty to protect that.''

An amendment to the management plan's policy on helicopter landings, for Challenge Wanaka and other events has also been proposed. If the board supports the proposed changes to the plan, it must determine and recommend to the council whether an amendment is made or whether a review of the plan should take place. The amendment process requires public notification of the amendments and the hearing of submissions before a council decision.