Public input on parking plan urged

20:12, Jan 22 2013

There is strong opposition to a proposal to take part of Wanaka's Pembroke Park for car parking.

Queenstown Lakes District Council officers have suggested 94 "nose-in" car parks be created in Brownston St. They would take up a five-metre strip of the popular downtown park, along just over half of its length.

The Pembroke Park Reserve Management Plan would need to be changed to allow that to happen, a move that required public consultation and full council approval. Yesterday, the Wanaka Community Board agreed to recommend to the full council that public submissions on the car parks be sought.

Board chairman Lyal Cocks said there was support for, and opposition to, using part of the park for car parking, therefore it was important that public submissions be sought.

Wanaka Chamber of Commerce chairman Alistair King said the organisation supported the change. The existing haphazard parking in Brownston St made it "diabolical" at times and business owners wanted more parking on the outskirts of the town centre, to alleviate the problem of the public using private car parks.

Friends of Pembroke Park member Father Brian Fenton was one of two people who spoke against the change, during the community board's public forum. "Where will it all stop? Pembroke Park is a jewel in Wanaka. It should be sacrosanct for this and future generations of our residents. Once taken, it will never be returned."

Council capital works project manager Rob Darby told The Southland Times "nose-in" parking on one side of Brownston St was much safer than parallel parking on both sides.

Public submissions would also be sought on allowing helicopter landings on the park during events such as Challenge Wanaka. At present, helicopters could use the park only for emergency, civil defence, or park management purposes.

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The Southland Times