Sims building and beach access discussed

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Parking pressure in Port Chalmers, the fate of the Sims Building and the restriction of vehicle access to Long Beach Domain were discussed at last week’s West Harbour Community Board meeting.

A passionate discussion of community concerns around the blocking of vehicle access to the Long Beach Domain, and a lack of consultation, was led by deputy chairman Trevor Johnson.

The board unanimously agreed to a motion put by Mr Johnson calling on the Dunedin City Council to ensure access to the domain remained open until full consultation with the community and board was carried out.

During the public forum, Port Chalmers resident Bill Brown raised the issue of parking congestion and suggested a piece of council land that could be used as a car park.

However, the fact the land was leased to the local Sea Cadets, and would involve people directly turning off SH88, would make this difficult, board members said.

The Sims Action Group reported to the board about its plans for saving the historic Sims Building, including setting up the Port Chalmers Foundry Trust, commissioning a history report on the building and applying for a historic places listing.

In relation to nominations for representatives on the New Zealand Community Boards’ executive committee, the board voted to put forward new member Jacque Ruston as its nominee.

In response to a request from the Port Chalmers Historical Society for the board to support its proposal to reinstate the historic time-ball on the flagstaff above Port Chalmers, the board voted unanimously in favour.

Councillor representative on the board Steve Walker sat out of the vote, due to his association with the society.

Reporting to the board on council activities, Cr Walker said there was excitement around the pledge of $60million for Dunedin from the Provincial Growth Fund.

“I am particularly excited about the establishment of a NZ Centre of Digital Excellence [CODE] in the city,” he said.

The board was pleased to hear that work on the long-awaited completion of the West Harbour cycleway-walkway was due to start on December 17.

Working through its action list, the board discussed the need to repair footpaths, clear vegetation, deal with speed issues on local roads and ensure the Sims Building was preserved.