Camping space in question

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Orepuki resident sisters Karen (left) and Trish Bailey demonstrated how tents are unlikely to fit in the three metres allocated in a version of plans proposed by Southland District Council. Photo: Laura Smith

NO room at the… campsite?

Frequent visitors of the Monkey Island camping area are worried there would not be enough room to camp there this Christmas.

The Bailey family have been visiting the campsite for years, and with Southland District Council (SDC) upgrading the site, they are concerned there would not be enough grass area left to pitch a tent.

There have so far been two public meetings and one private meeting with the Baileys, and Karen Bailey said a compromise on the proposed plan was made – this would mean there would be an area of 6 metres wide along 100 metres of the now gravelled area that would allow for tent-pitching following the length of the grassed sand dunes.

However, in the subsequent public meeting it was proposed there could potentially be a 3-metre-wide area instead of 6 – a space Ms Bailey said could not fit a one-man tent.

“At the end of the day, we’re actually back to square one now… they’re saying it’s not viable to have our 6 metres of space.”

SDC community facilities manager Mark Day said there was varied feedback from the community as to how much grass was suitable. “As a result of these meetings there are now two opinions on how much grassed area is enough.”

He said plans were still being finalised and the limited space of 120 metres by 18 metres made it difficult to accommodate the needs of all users.

“It is our intention to create a family-friendly space at Monkey Island with upgraded facilities. Therefore, we will continue to explore options for the project before finalising our decision.”

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