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A stoush has erupted between Dunstan Golf Club in Clyde and the Central Otago District Council over land leased to the club that the council would like for a pump station for Clyde’s sewerage and wastewater system. Like all disputes, there are two sides to the story. Jared Morgan and Alexia Johnston report.

The council . . .

The Central Otago District Council says it is acting for the “greater community good” in proposing to place a pump station on land designated as recreational reserve in Clyde.

The council and the Vincent Community Board plan to reclassify an area of about 1ha of Clyde reserve land as the preferred location for a pump station for Clyde’s sewerage and wastewater system.

Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said in determining the pump station location decision-makers needed to consider the “greater community good”.

“A new reticulated wastewater system will benefit the whole Clyde community, providing it with an environmentally safe wastewater system that will bring significant environmental, health and wellbeing benefits for decades to come.”

The proposed location is between the “rough” of the Dunstan Golf Club’s number seven fairway and a strip of closed road and Crown land along the banks of the Clutha River.

In December, the council’s Waste and Infrastructure Committee presented a report on the option to locate a pump station for the system at this site.

The proposed site is part of reserve land historically leased by the Dunstan Golf Club but currently unused.

The Vincent Community Board approved the proposed location in July, which triggered the council’s proposed reclassification.

Seeking public feedback on the proposal to reclassify the site is the next step in the process.

Council capital projects programme manager Patrick Keenan said the pump station would be unobtrusive.

The above-ground components of the pump station include a control room and dosing facility which adds chemicals to wastewater to control bacteria and odour.

The site design also includes odour filters. The building will be about 10m by 8m.

“Council has other pump stations in urban areas that have no negative impacts for the local community,” Mr Keenan said.

“Additional plantings and landscaping are also planned for beautification and screening.”

Pipework for the Clyde wastewater pipeline was installed nearby.

The proposed site is also significantly less costly when compared with the estimated costs of the original site identified for the pump station in the Muttontown area.

People are invited to submit on the proposal before 5pm on March 20.

The golf club . . . 

The Central Otago District Council is being labelled “dysfunctional”, following its proposal to reclassify land for the purpose of a pump station.

Dunstan Golf Club lease committee member Greg Rabbitt said not only was the council dysfunctional, but it was also being “economical with the truth”.

“This is not just a pumping station, it also has 630cum of raw sewage storage in fibreglass tanks and is approximately 200m from the hospital, and is $200,000 more than their other options.”

Club representatives have informed the council of their future intentions for the area, but the council “seem uninterested” and have not appeared to show any consideration for neighbouring Dunstan Hospital.

In December 2018, the council waste and infrastructure committee recommended four sites to council.

“None were on our lease and option D was chosen, which is outside our boundary but still in recreation reserve land.”

Mr Rabbitt said the council did not consult with the Dunstan Golf Club formally.

“We had a series of informal chats and incidental emails. Their idea of consultation seems to be that of telling us what to do, to the point of bullying.”

Mr Rabbitt said the Vincent Community Board approved the proposed location in July, but only after a “seemingly biased” report from a junior property officer that seemed to have led to a “predetermined outcome”.

He believed the council only asked for a submission because the golf club gave them no choice after it raised the issue with Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage and MP Jacqui Dean.

He said a council report states there will be odour release during maintenance periods and breakdowns, filters are helpful but not infallible.

“They also state that it will be relatively unobtrusive. It’s pretty hard to hide a 10m by 8m shed and perimeter fencing, all on a recreational reserve.”

Mr Rabbitt understood Muttontown, on the southern side of Clyde, was initially the site proposed for the project.

“With proposed future developments past the hospital, it would seem to be the ideal site.”

He said the council was “breaking all their own rules and processes”.