A new resource consent will limit the shifting of sand and driftwood that is done to groom Wanganui's Castlecliff Beach.
This has angered Castlecliff residents' committee, secretary Lynne Douglas said. And the committee was already annoyed by a decrease in council spending on the beach.
It believed the beach was a mess and its management was a community issue. It would be meeting Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws about it next month.
A five-year resource consent just issued by Horizons Regional Council allows beach grooming to take place on only a 200m stretch and on no more than six days between the months of October and December inclusive. There is no restriction on clearing sand from the car park, but removing adjacent dunes ? as the committee wants ? is not permitted.
The beach was being groomed last week ? with sand cleared from the sea wall, flattened and pushed back into the sea, and driftwood pushed into piles for burning.
Mrs Douglas said residents had requested the work be done before summer, but if the winds continued, more work would be needed and could not be done.
The committee would like to see more grooming done at the beach. The area was supposed to be a premier park but was simply a mess, she said.
Environment manager Richard Munneke said Wanganui District Council applied for a resource consent for the work ? which has been going on for at least 30 years without consent ? after it was caught short without a consent for its crematorium earlier this year.
He said the conditions of the consent were perhaps a little heavy-handed.
"But having said that, I suppose they have got to go through the process."
Another condition of the consent was that council investigate other ways to manage windblown sand and driftwood and provide the results ? and a preferred option ? to Horizons within two years.
One of the submitters on the resource consent was environment group Friends of the Shoreline (FoS). Chairman Allan Wrigglesworth said it believed there were better ways of sorting out sand and driftwood than spending $10,000 to $20,000 a year moving it around.
"We could find a way to work within the forces of nature, rather than using a bulldozer. Everywhere in the western world people are looking at beaches and trying to work with natural processes."
The resource consent says the grooming prevents the formation of a natural vegetated dune in the area fronting the beach car park, and this results in problems with windblown sand and allows storm waves to attack the sea wall.
The consent acknowledges that difficult issues and conflicting needs will have to be worked through before a solution is found.
The residents' committee believed FoS was responsible for the strong conditions of Horizons' resource consent. However, Mr Wrigglesworth said the condition that council investigate other methods of beach management was the only result of FoS input.
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