Club cites safety con­cerns

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A yacht club has ‘‘se­ri­ous’’ health and safety con­cerns over plans to fix ero­sion is­sues at a pop­u­lar beach site in Marl­bor­ough.

The Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Coun­cil wants to re­claim up to 4 me­tres of Shelly Beach, in Pic­ton, us­ing hard fill and soil, af­ter 50 years of the area be­ing eaten away by the sea.

It lodged a re­source con­sent ear­lier this year to re­claim more grass area and to also put down a wall of large, flat rocks to pro­tect the beach from wave ero­sion.

But the Queen Char­lotte Yacht Club said in a sub­mis­sion that while the club gen­er­ally supported the ap­pli­ca­tion, it thought a lack of dis­tinc­tion be­tween the beach and club could cause peo­ple to wan­der into haz­ardous ar­eas. ‘‘The club is con­cerned for the health and safety of the gen­eral pub­lic ... stray­ing into an area where power boats and yachts are be­ing launched and re­trieved,’’ it said.

Ves­sels went to and from the club’s launch­ing ramp. ‘‘As the ramp is on the [club] lease, it is un­der the [club] risk man­age­ment plan, [so] the club has se­ri­ous con­cerns in the area of pub­lic safety,’’ the club said.

The con­crete safety wall sep­a­rat­ing the pub­lic beach area and the club area was re­moved late last year to try to slow ero­sion south of the club’s launch­ing ramp.

Club sec­re­tary Ian Gar­diner said the club wanted to en­sure ac­cess to the beach was as safe as pos­si­ble. ‘‘We want to make sure lit­tle Johnny with his starfish, want­ing to show mum, doesn’t run into dan­ger when we’re try­ing to back up a boat at our launch­ing ramp,’’ Gar­diner said.

The club also had con­cerns it would be im­pos­si­ble for smaller craft to ac­cess the wa­ter from the grassed area if top soil washed off the new rock sea wall. ‘‘The con­sent ap­pli­ca­tion ... high­lights the re­quire­ment for easy ac­cess for small craft com­ing from the grassed area to the beach to launch,’’ the sub­mis­sion said.

The area was highly valued by

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