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The public will be asked to have their say as the Dunedin City Council considers plans to combat erosion at Middle Beach that could lead to a "managed retreat" from the area.
Councillors at yesterday's council community development committee agreed to consult the public on a draft Ocean Beach management plan prepared by consultant Tonkin and Taylor.
The draft plan covered an area stretching 4km from St Clair to Lawyers Head and includes Middle Beach, where serious erosion occurred following severe storms in 2007.
The report recommended continuing the council's holding pattern of monitoring and sand replenishment work - put in place following the 2007 storms - in the meantime.
However, the report also canvassed 13 longer-term options and recommended a managed retreat from Middle Beach and Kettle Park, or construction of an inland buried backstop wall to protect the area, over the next 10 to 50 years.
Initial estimates showed the work could cost between $8 million and $19 million, including a clean-up of the old landfill underneath Kettle Park at risk of being further exposed by continued erosion.
Council community and recreation services manager Mick Reece said he hoped consultation could be completed by the end of this year, with recommendations that followed considered as part of next year's long-term plan hearings.
Detailed information gathered by the council's Ocean Beach project team would also be made public through the council's website to aid the consultation process, he said.