New route options for walkway

Kirsty Street and her mother Wendy Street would like any Coastal Walkway developments to follow the coast.
Kirsty Street and her mother Wendy Street would like any Coastal Walkway developments to follow the coast.

Three new routes are being considered to extend New Plymouth's coastal walkway.

The routes would extend the walkway north through to Tiromoana Crescent in Bell Block.

The options have been labelled the coastal route, the Hickford Park Sports Park route and the inland route, which is the shortest.

This week the New Plymouth District Council's youth subcommittee, disabilities issues working party and komiti Maori will consider a recommendation the council consult with the public on all three routes.

People spoken to by the Taranaki Daily News voiced strong support for the the coast extension and against the inland option.

Parkvue Dr residents in Bell Block have raised concerns at the impact of having the walkway going past their homes.

Homeowner Alistair Hassall backed option one, which would stick to the coast. Residents did not support extending the current end of the walkway through the back of a residential area.

He was concerned that the option through the Parkvue area would have the walkway at a higher level than the properties, which would result in a complete lack of privacy.

"People can't help themselves when they walk past, they have a look in," he said.

Sandra Earley, of Inglewood, also preferred the coastal option.

"For me it is all about being down by the sea," she said.

New Plymouth's Wendy Street supported the coastal route.

"It's by the coast and by the sea and I don't think we make enough of our beautiful coastline," Mrs Street said.

Her daughter, Kirsty, was also keen to see the walkway remain near the coast and away from the residential area. "Where it cuts in by Hickford Park now, it goes into farmland and there's nothing to look at but grass."

The recommendations will go to the council's policy committee on February 26 for consideration.

Any consultation would seek comment from the community and the Puketapu and Ngati Tawhirikura hapu, as well as stakeholders such as the Bell Block Residents Society.

"We have a coastal erosion study and an ecological assessment on the three proposed routes, but a cultural impact assessment is required before launching the consultation process," NPDC manager parks Mark Bruhn said.

A proposal by the New Plymouth BMX Club to move from Marfell Park to Bell Block's Hickford Park would be considered.

A copy of the agenda report and of the route options are available on the council's website.

Taranaki Daily News