Council closes scenic ocean drive

John Wilson Ocean Dr closed in this June photograph. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
John Wilson Ocean Dr closed in this June photograph. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
John Wilson Ocean Dr was closed by the Dunedin City Council again last night, and will not reopen until a final decision is made on how to make the area safer.

Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin said yesterday the closure was in the interests of public safety, and at the request of Dunedin-Clutha police area commander Inspector Dave Campbell, and "other experts who have advised council as to the risks in leaving Lawyers Head unprotected".

The road was closed in 2006 for the construction of the Tahuna outfall, and deaths in the area ceased.

Last month, the council decided to open the road on weekdays, during daylight hours, but leave it closed at weekends.

Resource consent for a security fence at Lawyers Head was to be sought, while use of the area was monitored for three months.

On September 24, police recovered a body from the area, a death that was referred to the coroner.

Insp Campbell said at the time police would speak to the council about any issues arising from their investigation.

Mr Chin said: "The Dunedin City Council is currently exploring ways in which to secure the headland, and the gates will remain closed to all vehicle access until a suitable, acceptable solution is arrived at."

 

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