Sharpridge Hearing Statement

THE UPPER CLUTHA TRACKS TRUST STATEMENT:

The Trust neither supports or opposes the application.

The Trust refers to its original submission regarding the application and notes with some disappointment that little, if any, consideration appears to have given to it by Mr Henderson in his planners report other than noting its receipt.

The Trust is disappointed that no mention was made of the applicant’s offer of an easement to the west of Ironside Hill. It could have been discussed under positive effects and in other matters.

The Trust would like to elaborate on its request that the easement if created be wider than the 3 metres proposed. In our experience of track construction and  from our understanding of how QLDC create tracks, a more usual width for an easement is 10 metres. This allows sufficient width to allow the best track alignment to be taken and if both sides are fenced is wide enough not to feel constricted whilst in an open environment.

The alignment of the easement also needs to be carefully considered to ensure that suitable gradients can be achieved.

The Trust would also urge the applicant to consider offering an easement of a similar nature to the one detailed in the application that was part of the previous application to the Environment Court. This would be from the Mt Aspiring Rd to the Glendhu Bay Track close to the northern boundary of the property and would work well with the proposed regeneration of the wetland in the area.

The Trust believe that this would be an important link to the Glendhu Bay Track and create a short circular route in conjunction with the Lake Road access track at the southern boundary of the site. New access routes to the Glendhu Bay Track from Mt Aspiring Road will help people access some of the most impressive parts of the track for shorter walks and will improve access options for those less able or willing to walk long distances.

The Trust believe that this would help the application meet the objective of Section 6 (d) of the RMA in that it would improve/enhance access to Lake Wanaka.

The Trust would refer to the nearby Parkins Bay Preserve application and interim decision of the Environment Court, which has suggested that “environmental compensation in the form” of increased public access by means of formed tracks or easements for the creation of tracks can be an important factor in granting consent where the issues are finely balanced.

The Trust is aware of the sensitivity of the issue of views from tracks on public land and the impact this can have on potential development, and would like to remind the applicants that any easements offered as part of the application would be covered by Plan Change 28 and would therefore not be considered “public places” at the time any future development might be proposed.

The Trust would also like to reiterate that there is merit in fencing the boundary between the subject site and the adjoining recreation reserve. The adjoining properties to the north and south both have boundary fencing between the private land and the Council reserve. The current situation is that stock are prevented from wandering along the reserve by fences crossing the reserve from the applicants site to the lake. This creates the need for stiles on the track on public land which hinder access for cyclists.

If the site boundary is fenced as part of the application, it would clearly define the boundary of public land, potentially prevent dogs straying onto the private land, and allow the removal of stiles and cattle stops from the walking cycling track.

To conclude the Trust believes that there is substantial potential for further positive effects in the form of provision of improved access to Lake Wanaka and the Glendhu Bay Track and would request that the applicant consider this not only in terms of potentially improving the chances of the application being successful, but also as a chance to provide a lasting legacy by gifting the community with improved access to Lake Wanaka.

Signed: John Wellington                        Date: 13th June 2011

 

 

Trustee

Upper Clutha Tracks Trust

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