Plea to hasten fixing of dunes

A St Clair resident fears a lack of urgency in completing remedial work to sand dunes may put homes in the area at risk.

Erosion of the sand dunes at St Clair and Ocean Beach had left the top of the dune face only 17m from the rear boundary of some houses in Victoria Rd, Bill Brown said.

He raised his concerns during the public forum of yesterday's Dunedin City Council meeting about ongoing erosion of the dunes.

While remedial work had been slated for mid-June, adverse weather could prevent it taking place.

That could have an effect on some home-owners, he believed.

‘‘If nothing happens and these sand sausages are not in place in time and we go through another winter, not a special winter, but a winter like last time and it pushes more inland ... it's into the backyards of those properties,'' he told councillors.

‘‘That's the risk we are running at the moment.''

Mr Brown asked councillors to assess if further sand sausages could be installed beyond the proposed repairs to shore up more of the beach and provide greater protection.

‘‘It certainly needs another 100-150m of sand sausage to adequately protect the dune,'' he said.

‘‘That's all I hope to achieve today, is to draw your attention to how serious it's becoming and how serious it would be to go into another winter without these protections in because we have missed the tide.''

Mr Brown had been carrying out ongoing monitoring of the erosion and said it had eroded further in recent weeks.

He was concerned at what he perceived as a lack of urgency in completing the repair work.

Council parks and recreation group manager Richard Saunders, who was not present at yesterday's meeting, told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he remained comfortable the work would be completed in time.

‘‘We have identified the weather as a risk but we are confident that we can get them in as designed and to do the job they are designed for,'' he said.

He sympathised with residents and said the council ‘‘understand the feeling from those residents''.

The material for the sausages had been ordered and a tender to complete the physical work would be carried out soon, he said.

timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

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