Waterfront development a 'drawcard'

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 11:46 26/06/2014
Liz Mangan
STACY SQUIRES

LYTTELTON RESIDENT: Liz Mangan says the more public access to the port, the better.

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Lyttelton residents are cautiously optimistic about the Lyttelton Port Company's new development proposal but concerns linger about heavy trucks on Norwich Quay. 

The $1 billion LPC proposal, released yesterday, showed plans to develop Dampier Bay into a waterfront hospitality precinct and put a $45 million specialty cruise ship terminal on hold. 

Lyttelton resident Liz Mangan said a waterfront hospitality area would be a drawcard for Lyttelton and attract more Christchurch visitors and tourists.

''The more public access to the port, the better,'' she said. ''I guess if you make Lyttelton more attractive, then cruise ships will want to visit.''

Aaron Dann said a split hospitality scene between London St and Dampier Bay could be a good thing as long as existing businesses were not adversely affected. 

Coffee Culture co-owner Samira Sultan-Rouse said she would not be concerned about having more competition in the area. 

"To be back down on the wharf would be incredible,'' she said. ''It would boost things for Lyttelton, and that's great.'' 

Residents did not see much value in attracting cruise ship visitors who often went straight on a bus to Christchurch. 

Lyttelton Pharmacy owner John Thrupp said he saw a reasonable amount of business from cruise ship visitors and would like to see that continue during the summer months.

''It's a shame they're putting the cruise ships on hold,'' he said. ''If they don't come back, we'll miss it.''

He said the proposal would only work if it attracted a significant number of people to the area from Christchurch, as Lyttelton's population could not support such a high number of hospitality businesses. 

However, locals were most concerned that the port's plans to solve longstanding issues around heavy trucks on Norwich Quay were still not clear. 

Mangan said getting heavy trucks off main roads was a priority and the new proposal was not clear on how this would be achieved. 

It outlined a possible plan to have traffic diverted under or over the quay, but diverting residential traffic could impact on existing businesses.

Parent Paul Wright said the closure of Lyttelton Main School meant more children were having to walk or bike from one side of Lyttelton to the other.

Heavy traffic was a primary concern for parents. About 1200 heavy trucks a week carry hardfill to the reclamation area. 

Sultan-Rouse said she was wary of how the new proposal could impact the environment and said the township needed to be sure things were being done properly. 

The LPC's public consultation booth opens on Saturday for residents to have their say.

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- The Press

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