Board looks at road safety and campers

Board concerns . . . saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall visits the Brighton Domain freedom camping area. Freedom camping was one of the topics discussed at the board's meeting last week. PHOTO: STAR FILES

In its first meeting since early March, the Saddle Hill Community Board focused on local issues, including road safety and freedom camping.

The meeting, held on June 18 at the Municipal Chambers, was an opportunity for the board to discuss and ratify its submissions to the Dunedin City Council’s Annual Plan process.

Board chairman Scott Weatherall told board members that it was possible for the board to consult directly with the community on areas of concern around freedom camping, remaining outside of the council’s bylaw review.

He reported that council parks and recreation group manager Robert West would provide a draft community consultation document that could be taken to residents living at Braids Hill for their response.

Braids Hill was an area where residents were not keen on any freedom camping, although it was not possible to totally prevent this.

Dunedin City Council’s new transport group manager Jeanine Benson had joined Mr Weatherall and others for a “drive around” the Saddle Hill board area.Some draft thinking would be done around tidying up the Kaikorai Estuary car park.

The board noted that the Community Response Plan for disaster emergencies was completed for the Saddle Hill, Chain Hills, Concord, Green Island, Abbotsford areas, covering localised hazards, meeting places, and evacuation points.

Board member Christina McBratney reported on the Chain Hills cycle tunnel project, which had stalled during lockdown.

“Where we left it was with the possibility of applying to the Provincial Growth Fund for a feasibility study to make it bigger than the initial concept,” she said.

The board also discussed community concern over vehicles speeding on Scroggs Hill Rd, with some temporary measures taken by residents during lockdown.

Board member Keith McFadyen said residents wanted the 50kmh speed limit enforced.

In his chairman’s report, Mr Weatherall acknowledged departing Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose.

“Her support for this board has been immense . . . and I have found her incredibly supportive and open,” he said.