Erosion a concern, residents tell council

Shoreline erosion is looming large in the minds of South Coast residents, in the results of a recent community consultation.

Clutha District Council began its Our Place Taieri Mouth Community Plan consultation process in November last year, and invited public submissions during February this year.

Consultant Mike Goldsmith summarised community feedback in a report to the council’s full meeting in Balclutha on Wednesday afternoon.

Environmental concerns came top of the list for residents, including addressing riverbank erosion in popular public areas such as Knarston Park and Riverside Rd, and restoration of wetlands, dunes and waterways.

Maintenance of community facilities such as the Leitch Memorial Hall was also identified as a key priority.

During the meeting, Cr Wayne Felts questioned whether residents’ desire to see rocks bordering Knarston Park removed was sensible, as they were in place to prevent shoreline erosion.

Council deputy chief executive Jules Witt said the rocks had been placed there by the council as a temporary measure several years ago, and acknowledged residents’ concerns over their condition.

He said cost investigations for a permanent solution were now under way.

Regarding erosion and parking concerns along Riverside Rd, the report said a range of views had been expressed by submitters.

"There were 20 feedback items relating to the need to address parking and shoreline erosion issues, and 11 items asking for this road to be sealed. There were also five items asking for Riverside Rd to be left as it is, including from respondents who live on Riverside Rd," the report said.

Mr Goldsmith said the process had received a good level of feedback for a relatively small population.

During discussion, Cr Bruce Vollweiler noted submitters had expressed a desire for limited development within the township.

He said those objections might be overcome if ways to develop the settlement "sympathetically", and respecting its special character, could be agreed upon with residents.

Mr Goldsmith said there had been good engagement from residents.

More than 850 feedback items were received, via 68 feedback forms, and 53 face-to-face conversations with respondents.