Rethink on extension of museum

JARED NICOLL
Last updated 16:00 15/05/2012

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Picton Museum planners will shrink the height and footprint of a proposed extension following a negative report from the Marlborough District Council.

The extension wing will house a whaling exhibition, including two rare whaling boats.

The Picton Historical Society withdrew its resource consent application for a two-storey, 20 metres by 15m extension to the Picton Museum on the Picton Foreshore after a council resource consent officer recommended that the independent hearing commissioner decline the application.

Peter Johnston's report advised that the proposed extension would not be a permitted activity on the Picton foreshore reserve land and would be incompatible with the nature of the foreshore.

The application was scheduled to be heard by an independent commissioner on May 8.

The report says the extension site was well used for "fairs and events throughout the year as well as informal recreation, the design of the building is not aesthetically pleasing, and the size and location of the building would detract from the outlook of occupiers of Quay apartments, and the public more generally".

Blenheim resident Jon Perano has offered the museum his 1960 whale chaser Catchalot III, an engine-powered former whaling boat he found in Bluff and restored in Blenheim. His cousin, Ron Perano, has offered his 10-metre 1890 whaling boat replica, Swiftsure, for display in the museum.

Picton Museum extension liaison officer Bill Brehaut said the society asked architects Smart Alliance to reduce both the width and height of the proposed extension because it "jutted out somewhat".

The proposed height would be reduced by lowering the roof-line.

The reduced floor area would mean less space for whaling exhibits around the boats, he said.

The museum committee will need to approve a revised design, which will be shown to the council before it puts in another application for a resource consent.

The council received 28 submissions on the original proposal; 17 were in support and 11 opposed.

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- The Marlborough Express

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