An Environment Waikato hearing committee has approved an application by Waikato District Council to build part of a 105m² deck over the coastal marine area on the western side of a new museum proposed for Raglan.
However, the committee declined a related application by the district council to build a jetty in front of the proposed museum.
The applications were associated with a notice of requirement lodged by the district council to designate land on Joyce Petchell Park, for the development of a new museum and information centre building.
The deck was to provide an outdoor eating area where museum patrons could take advantage of Raglan Harbour views. It was to be linked with a 45m² jetty.
Environment Waikato was required to make decisions on part of the proposed deck and the proposed jetty, as the coastal marine area is under the regional council’s jurisdiction.
Concerns over natural character and landscape values, ecology, amenity values, water quality, public access, iwi issues, sea level rise, construction and vehicle use were discussed at the hearing.
The Environment Waikato committee noted matters pertaining to the designation of land and the museum and information centre building itself, including the majority of the proposed deck, were outside its jurisdiction.
“In making our decision we have only considered aspects of the proposal within the coastal marine area, and note that the decision on the NoR (notice of requirement) will be circulated in a separate report, which should be read in conjunction with this report.”
After carefully considering a wide range of evidence, the committee concluded the proposed deck would provide a connection between the museum and the Raglan Harbour, and was unlikely to result in significant adverse effects on the environment.
However, the committee was not satisfied there was a need for a jetty in this location given the apparent limited usability of the structure. When considering this in combination with the effects on natural character, amenity and ecology as well as the concerns of iwi, the committee decided the proposed jetty would have “more than minor actual or potential adverse effects on the environment which could not be adequately mitigated”.
“Whilst we acknowledge the applicant’s view that the proposal seeks to provide a connection between the museum and the harbour, we find that the proposed deck in isolation will achieve this connection and that the proposed jetty would not significantly enhance this connection.”
The committee noted that, although the designation of land associated with the museum redevelopment was outside its jurisdiction, it did not consider declining the jetty would compromise the overall museum proposal.