Neighbours concern ‘one other layer of frustration’ if freedom tenting web site will get inexperienced mild

0
16

Freedom campers parked in Koromiko, near Picton, in 2016. Freedom campers in Marlborough are now required to have certified self-contained vehicles.
Photo: Delivered/stuff

A vacant campsite planned for the car park of Marlborough’s premier sports ground will add “another layer of frustration” to the area, neighbors say.

Lansdowne Park is the home ground of Tasman Mako in Blenheim. It has a $4.8 pavilion that opened in March and its midfield was upgraded by $700,000 about two years ago.

Neighbors have claimed the parking lot is used by truckers and is often a hotspot for young racers.

This comes as Marlborough District Council is again calling for proposals on its freedom camping statute, after proposing to add a further eight sites or areas for self-contained camping across the region.

It could mean that the area available for freedom camping in Marlborough will increase significantly – including Alfred Stream in Rai Valley, Renwick Dog Park, Lansdowne Park, Wairau Plains Roads, Southern Valley Roads, Waihopai Valley Roads, Awatere Valley Roads and Wairau Valley Roads.

Certain roads had yet to be identified as Marlborough Roads needed to confirm their suitability and consult with the community. Some areas on these highways fell under protected areas that prohibited camping, were prone to flooding, or did not have “suitable vehicle exit areas”.

Under the proposal, the Lansdowne Park site would be restricted to Monday to Thursday only and a maximum stay of one night.

Gerald Satherley, who lives opposite Lansdowne Park car park, said he did not support the proposal.

“To be perfectly honest, I’m against it,” Satherley said.

“I just see it as another level of frustration for local residents in this area.

“The young racing drivers use the parking lot on Friday and Saturday evenings and on some evenings during the week.

“Monday to Friday, sometimes also on weekends, we have trucks doing all kinds of activities over there.”

Satherley said he and other neighbors couldn’t understand why a lot had been earmarked for the park because it’s so close to a commercial auto camp on Grove Road.

“I think there are far better places in Marlborough that would be better suited,” he said.

“Why are you putting it here in the middle of a residential area? It’s Marlborough’s premier sporting ground, it’s not appropriate.”

Mary-Anne Smith does not understand why the City Council needs a liberty campground in Lansdowne Park, across the street from a commercial campground and motel.
Photo: Things

Her neighbor, Mary-Anne Smith, said she couldn’t understand why they had to build a site right next to a commercial auto camp and motel.

“There are other parking lots owned by the community that people could use,” she said.

“And besides, we’re already in a lot of trouble now that the trucks are parked overnight, it’s buzzing all night.

“There’s young racers over there all the time and we’re in a double-glazed rear section and we can still hear it.”

Four liberty campsites have been proposed for Lansdowne Park car park in Blenheim.

Four liberty campsites have been proposed for Lansdowne Park car park in Blenheim.
Photo: Delivered/stuff

Another neighbor, Vinu Aruldas, said she was unaware of the proposal. She said as long as campers aren’t noisy, it wouldn’t bother her too much.

The proposal to add more vacant campsites in the area comes after the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association took Marlborough District Council to the High Court over its 2020 statute, which it said was too prohibitive.

The bylaw limited freedom campers from 13 to five community-owned locations, and governed vehicles must be self-contained. A judge ruled in December that the council failed to properly consult the public before passing the charter.

The council received 91 submissions on its draft Responsible Camping Regulations 2022, which proposed opening three new campgrounds, bringing the total number of Freedom campgrounds to eight.

no metadata

But the panel hearing the submissions, Independent Commissioner Martin Williams, then Marlborough Mayor John Leggett, and then Deputy Mayor Nadine Taylor, agreed with the submissions that some of the exempted locations in the draft statute are suitable with restrictions such as length of stay could be made .

Linda Craighead, the council’s parks and open spaces planner, said the latest round of consultation followed the panel’s guidance.

The proposed boundary for the Wairau Plains Roads.  A vacant campsite proposed by Marlborough District Council.

The proposed boundary for the Wairau Plains Roads. A vacant campsite proposed by Marlborough District Council.
Photo: MDC/SCOPE OF DELIVERY

“In its preliminary decision in April this year, the panel requested that a further evaluation be conducted of six sites and five street areas as potential no-go areas for free camping,” Craighead said.

“This assessment has now been completed by an independent consultant and reviewed by the Hearing Panel, which recommended that further submissions be sought on the new sites.

“We want the community to share their views on including the following places and areas as Campgrounds for Freedom.”

The consultation on the proposed sites was open until October 21st. Submissions could be submitted [www.marlborough.govt.nz/your-council/have-your-say-consultations onlineor by [[email protected]

emailing].

For more informations [www.marlborough.govt.nz/your-council/bylaws/responsible-camping-control-bylaw-2020/draft-responsible-camping-bylaw-2022

visit].

Suggested locations:

  • Alfred Stream Reserve, Rai Valley
  • Five designated sites (well separated from the river’s edge)
  • Certified self-contained vehicles only (no tents)
  • Maximum stay of one night in any four week period

Renwick Dog Park

  • Five designated locations
  • Certified standalone vehicles only
  • Maximum stay of one night in any four week period

Lansdowne Park

Four designated locations:

  • Certified standalone vehicles only
  • Maximum stay of one night in any four week period
  • Wairau Plains Roads (west of State Highway 1), Southern Valleys Roads, Waihopai Valley Roads, Wairau Valley Roads (excluding roads within Wairau Valley Township), and Awatere Valley Roads
  • Certified standalone vehicles only
  • Maximum stay of one night in any four week period
  • No open fires
  • No parking immediately off the formed curb or shoulder

Local Democracy Reporting is public interest journalism funded by NZ On Air