Clay dump angers locals
HERNE Bay residents are angry at revelations Auckland City Council approved the dumping of clay in their local park.
Neighbours say Salisbury Park has been ruined since clay from a neighbouring development was dumped and trees removed.
Concerns over the condition of the well-used reserve were reported in the Auckland City Harbour News last month.
Since then the council has confirmed the clay was intentionally used to fill a hollow in the ground it says caused “access and maintenance problems”.
Grass was planted on top of the clay but did not take and the earth has been left to become hard and cracked.
Council parks and services manager Mark Bowater says although grass does grow in clay soils, the seed has not taken well in this case.
Resident Kim Prisk, who has lived on Salisbury Ave for more than 20 years, says the land is now barren and harsh.
“The disfigurement of the park is disturbing. It shouldn’t have happened.”
He says he had never heard of any complaints about access in the hollow and any waterlogging issues were minor.
Local Richard Harris says filling the hollow with clay seems drastic and the public should have been consulted. “No one thought there was a problem in the first place.”
Mr Prisk says he is also disappointed about the removal of a mature pear tree in the middle of the reserve. He and his family would visit the tree annually and collect pears to make pear pie. “It was a family tradition.”
Mr Prisk was told by the council two years ago the tree would be replaced but nothing has been done.
Residents approached the Western Bays Community Board asking for support for a new landscaping plan last month. The board referred the issue to council officers who are working on a new plan for the park.