Time to rethink foreshore use as review approaches
Is Picton foreshore a wasted space with endless possibilities or perfectly fine the way it is?
With a Picton foreshore review set down for next year, perhaps now’s a good time to get the thinking caps on.
A hot pools and wellness centre was mooted during the Marlborough District Council’s longterm plan submissions, but so too were volleyball courts.
But going further back, who remembers Eric Collins’ dream of a multimillion-dollar gondola and hilltop restaurant overlooking the Marlborough Sounds?
And who can forget Picton foreshore as a place to fall in love, after a hand-drawn love note sparked a 2015 romance between a Picton resident and a Scottish tourist?
Next year’s foreshore management plan review, the first since 2014, will be used to guide future management and development decisions, by providing an overall vision for the area.
At least 40 per cent of Picton’s foreshore must be left as ‘‘open green space’’ for events, picnicking and recreational activities.
The man behind the volleyball courts submission, Lochmara Lodge owner Shayne Olsen, said the courts would make use of the green space already available near Picton’s coat-hanger bridge.
‘‘This is currently used for the market on cruise ship days, but I’m sure this can be shared with not much effort,’’ Olsen said.
‘‘It’s already set up with seating and lighting ... but, at the moment, it’s just grass.’’
Olsen requested the council give the volleyball courts its full support as it would ‘‘give the foreshore a heartbeat’’.
He estimated the courts, which would be free for public use, would cost the council less than $20,000 to install.
‘‘Years ago, we used to play volleyball on the foreshore in the summer,’’ Olsen said in his submission.
‘‘It was very popular and created a very nice atmosphere. We would like to help create that atmosphere again.’’
A $15 million hot pool and day spa centre, similar to Hanmer and Tekapo Springs, was suggested for Picton foreshore during the long-term plan talks.
Picton businessman John Reuhman put the idea forward and said in his submission the centre would appeal to both the family market and tourists, while creating 30 jobs in Picton.
Reuhman asked the council to fund a feasibility study for the centre, which councillors later declined.
But Cafe Cortado restaurant manager Deb Taumoefolau said hot pools would bring in muchneeded tourism during Picton’s shoulder season.
‘‘We lack things to do yearround in Picton, so anything to bring more people over is a good idea,’’ Taumoefolau said.
‘‘I’d also like a volleyball court, barbecue areas and a picnic area near the kids playground, like in Waikawa Bay.’’