An application to extend the Picton Museum on the foreshore has been turned down.
In a decision released on Friday, Marlborough District Council independent commissioner Richard Fowler has refused the Picton Historical Society's resource consent application to extend the Picton Museum on council foreshore reserve land.
The $1 million extension was for a whaling, maritime and heritage display, including the replica whaling boat Swiftsure, built by whaling family descendent Ron Perano and rowed down the River Thames this year as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The size of the extension had already been reduced to better fit on the foreshore site.
Society members say they may appeal the ruling to the Environment Court by the end of next week, but need to consider the cost.
The proposed two-storey building was 255 square metres, connected by a glass walkway to the museum.
Mr Fowler, who was brought in to consider the application because the council owns the land, says in the written decision he declined the application because it clashed with statutory criteria protecting the recreational value of the land.
His decision was based on planning law under section 104 of the Resource Management Act.
The museum extension plan clashed with the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement because it covered open public space; with the Marlborough Regional Policy Statement because the design would not fit with the natural landscape; and with the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management Plan because it covered recreational space and there was no proposal to include on-site car parking, the report says.
The problems of visitors having to rely on nearby car parking and the threat of the building obstructing views from nearby apartments would likely be "relatively insignificant", Mr Fowler said in the report.
But the proposal was "ultimately incompatible with the value of preservation of the open space character of the reserve and most importantly of all, the particular amenity, function and value of the proposed building site and the immediate area around it."
He heard the trust's application on October 10 and received 67 submissions on the planned extension, including 10 opposed.
Picton Museum extension liaison officer Bill Brehaut said the decision was disappointing and the society's committee would meet with various groups, including Marlborough District Council support services manager Dean Heiford, before deciding by the end of next week whether to appeal. The society has 15 working days from the date of the decision to lodge an appeal with the Environment Court.
"It can be very expensive. We're a charitable trust so we'll have to be pretty comfortable that we're going to win that appeal."
- The Marlborough Express