Boat ramp toilet approved after debate

 public toilet will be constructed beside the Pisa Moorings boat ramp, by the stand of  trees near the lakeshore. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.
public toilet will be constructed beside the Pisa Moorings boat ramp, by the stand of trees near the lakeshore. Photo by Lynda van Kempen.

A public toilet will be constructed at Pisa Moorings but it took 90 minutes of submissions and discussion yesterday, followed by a site visit, before the location was agreed upon.

The single unisex toilet in Dustin Park will be sited right beside the boat ramp, by the stand of mature trees, the Clutha Management Committee decided.

The issue had attracted 36 submissions, 28 in favour of the toilet, seven opposed and one neutral.

The construction cost, about $100,000, will be funded from the Clyde Dam Amenity Fund which was set up for lakeshore development.

The maintenance, power and cleaning costs, about $5000, will be funded by ratepayers.

Owners of houses near the boat ramp raised concerns about whether the facility was needed, the possibility of it attracting litter, and the visual impact of it.

Several submitters were worried it would encourage freedom camping in the area. Freedom camping could be controlled and was an issue already being addressed, committee member Steve Battrick said.

Committee members rejected the original site proposed for the toilet, near the children's playground, and decided a location nearer the boat ramp would be less visually intrusive.

''You can put it anywhere, and for someone it will be in the wrong place,'' committee member and Cromwell Community Board chairman Neil Gillespie said.

Alan Benington, of Pisa Moorings, told the committee there was clear support for the toilet and ''no toilet is not an option''.

''There is past history of an anti-community faction getting its own way and this needs to stop,'' he said. Jeff Hill, of Alexandra, was the only committee member to vote against the construction of the toilet and said he was not convinced of the need for it - ''it's more infrastructure, and more rubbish''.