The Oamaru Harbour Plan 2020 and Beyond document has not provided a clear enough vision for the future of the area, Friends of the Oamaru Harbour co-ordinator Katrina Hazelhurst says.
Mrs Hazelhurst said she was expecting the draft plan to focus more on the guiding principals for future developments, rather than outlining specific projects.
“The idea of the harbour draft plan was to have a clear vision for the Oamaru Harbour,” she said.
“When we have things like development space’, that is too vague.
“The council can’t have a bob each way; they can’t say we want to create a vision for Oamaru Harbour on one hand, and on the other hand have a draft plan that has such ambiguity.”
The consultation period for the draft plan ends on Monday and the Friends of the Oamaru Harbour group is encouraging people to have their say and “be part of the process”.
“A lot of it is very good,” Mrs Hazelhurst said.
“A lot of the shovel-ready projects are no-brainers that are going to improve the harbour.”
However, the group was concerned about the proposal for developing the car park to the west of Scotts Brewing Co.
According to the draft plan, the area will be investigated for future developments and could be leased out for visitor accommodation, light commercial, or mixed use.
“We just need to know what that future development means. Development can cover such a broad range of options,” Mrs Hazelhurst said.
“Where are the [car] parks for that going to come from and will they intrude on the farmers’ market?”
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the car park was an area the council was looking at for potential development due to its central location.
“We don’t know what it will be either,” Mr Kircher said.
He acknowledged the illustration included in the plan was not to scale, but said provisions had been made for the Oamaru Farmers’ Market to maintain its presence, and there would still be space for car parks.
Mr Kircher believed the plan was clear. The guiding principles for further development of the area were included, he said.
They were: enhancing the harbour in sympathy with the town’s heritage, attracting increased investment in the area, adding to the harbour area in a way that benefits the town centre, and protecting wildlife and improving environmental outcomes.
“There are guidelines there that are fairly broad, but still detailed enough to be clear,” Mr Kircher said.
“I think if we had only gone out with those, and not what the individual things are that are going to be happening, people would then say don’t know what’s going to happen’.
“This is only the draft. If people think there needs to be more detail they are quite able to submit and say that.”
Mr Kircher said the draft plan could be separated into two parts outlining the guidelines, and one showing how the proposed projects related to the guidelines.
Other projects in the plan include the structural renovation of Sumpter Wharf and temporary tactical urbanisation, which could lead to the realignment of the Lower Thames and Itchen St intersection.
The Oamaru Harbour Plan 2020 and Beyond document is available in hard copy at Waitaki libraries and council offices, and also online on the council website.
If people would like to speak in support of their submissions there would be the opportunity to do so at the meeting of the Harbour Area Committee on September 14, and submitters are asked to make this intent clear.