Washing away Cosy Nook

19:01, Feb 25 2014
Cosy Nook
CHANGING COURSE: Erosion near the road to Cosy Nook.

A quiet corner of the Southland coast is under serious threat by erosion which could undermine its sole access road.

A section of coastal cliff face near Mullet Rd, the only road to Cosy Nook, near Riverton, is in need of urgent work to support severely eroded cliff faces propping up the accessway.

Southland District Council applied to Environment Southland for resource consent in 2013 to construct and occupy the coastal marine area with coastal protection works to protect an eroding cliff face near Mullet Rd.

The work would consist of a 75m rock seawall and fill embankment to be installed between two rock promontories along the edge of the eroding cliff face.

Some minor rock armouring would be placed immediately beyond rock promontories.

However, concerned Cosy Nook residents made submissions against the proposal, citing the potential for adverse environmental effects and that it was merely a short-term solution to an ongoing problem.


Submitter Susan McLaughlin said putting up a seawall to prop up a one-lane road was neither environmentally nor financially sound.

Damage caused by erosion was an ongoing issue and the council should consider more fully the other options suggested in the preliminary geotechnical application, she said.

Ms McLaughlin, in a submission with partner Nigel Brown, requested Southland District Council be responsible for any adverse impacts on the coastal environment that could be caused by the proposed work.

They were concerned at the potential for peripheral erosion caused by the seawall.

They were "definitely not" against the road repairs but the council should be looking at other options, Ms McLaughlin said.

A staff report prepared by Environment Southland regarding Southland District Council's application said the applicant considered the protection works as a short to medium term measure to stabilise the toe of the cliff and long-term measures, such as moving the road further inland would be explored in the future.

A hearing of the application will be held at Environment Southland tomorrow.

The Southland Times