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Brook Recreation Reserve Reclassification

The feedback period has now closed on Nelson City Council's proposal to re-classify land in the area commonly referred to as the “Brook Recreation Reserve” from Recreation Reserve to Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation). 

The purpose of this document is to provide information on the background to and implications of the change from Recreation Reserve to Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation) status.

Brook Camp through trees

Background

On 24 November 2014, Council gave public notice of its intention to prepare a management plan for the Brook Recreation Reserve. This is largely the area occupied by the Brook Motor Camp, adjacent to the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary. It includes land that is currently classified as Recreation Reserve and administered under the Reserves Act, freehold land vested in Council and legal road. This land is shown on the the Brook Recreation Reserve Management Plan (3.4MB PDF). Council called for suggestions from the public on how this land should be used in the future.  At the time there was concern about the future viability of the Brook Motor Camp, occupation by long-term residential campers and potentially competing interests in developing the land for recreation, education, tourism and conservation projects. 

Council took into account suggestions received and developed a draft management plan. On 11 June 2015, Council opened the formal consultation on the draft management plan, calling for written submissions. The draft management plan included two vision options (contemplating different scales of tourism development), objectives and policies for the administration of the land. It included a proposal that all of the land become Recreation Reserve administered under the Reserves Act.

Council received a number of written submissions. Some of the submitters presented their submissions to a hearings panel on 2 September 2015. Key issues for submitters included:

  • The vision
  • Road stopping
  • Gazettal, classification and administration of land under the Reserves Act
  • Residential camping

The Department of Conservation (DoC) submitted, as part of this process, that Recreation Reserve would not be the most appropriate classification for all of the land. In particular, DoC noted that some of the proposed uses of the land may be interpreted as inconsistent with provisions of the Reserves Act applying to administration of Recreation Reserves. This included any activity providing a service to an area outside the Recreation Reserve, such as facilities for the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, a suggested Cawthron Park conservation project and any tourism activity which was not confined solely to the reserve. DoC suggested that Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation) would be a more appropriate classification.

On 15 October 2015, on recommendations from the Hearings Panel, Council decided to adopt the draft management plan in principle, as amended following consideration of submissions, including the proposal for all of the land to become Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation). The vision as adopted in principle was:

The Brook Recreation Reserve serves as a centre for environmental education and conservation and as a destination for camping and outdoor recreation, including appropriately scaled and complementary commercial recreation and tourism development.

Prior to any final approval of the management plan, Council started the necessary public statutory processes to progress the proposal that all of the land become Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation). This included:

  • A public notification and hearing process under s24 of the Reserves Act to re-classify the existing Recreation Reserve land to Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation)
  • A public notification and hearing process under s14 of the Reserves Act to declare fee simple land vested in Council to be Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation)
  • A public notification and hearing process under s342 and Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1974 to stop the legal road

As part of the submissions and hearing process, concerns were raised about the change between the proposal in the draft management plan as originally notified that all of the land become Recreation Reserve, to the proposal in the draft management plan as adopted in principle by Council that all of the land become Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation). The submitters appeared to be concerned about the potential implications of the change in proposed classification.

As a result of these concerns, Council decided to carry out a further informal feedback process on the proposal to re-classify the Recreation Reserve land as Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation), including the provision of further information to assist the public and submitters on the processes to date to understand the implications of this change. 

Following this further feedback process, Council will then make its final decision on:

  • Whether to re-classify the existing Recreation Reserve land to Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation) or not;
  • Whether to declare the free hold land vested in it as Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation) or not
  • Whether to finally approve the draft management plan adopted in principle or not

Implications of change from Recreation Reserve to Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation)

Key differences between recreation and local purpose reserves are:

PURPOSE OF THE RESERVE

Recreation Reserve
To provide areas for recreation and sporting activities, the physical welfare and enjoyment of the public and protection of the natural environment and beauty of the countryside. There is an emphasis on retention of open spaces and freedom of public access (subject to any authorised restrictions, including leases).
Local Purpose Reserve
To provide and retain areas for such local purposes as are specified in any classification. In this case it is proposed to specify recreation purposes. The ordinary meaning of “recreation” will apply.

Leasing requirements

 
Recreation Reserve
May be leased to voluntary or commercial entities, subject to the requirement that the proposed activity generally be necessary for the use and enjoyment of that reserve. This may be interpreted as preventing leases for activities in the Brook Recreation Reserve that service activities on other land, such as the adjacent Brook Waimarama Sanctuary.
Local Purpose Reserve
There is no parallel restriction on granting leases over parts of a local purpose reserve 
Recreation Reserve
The granting of any lease must comply with any approved management plan for the area.
Local Purpose Reserve
The granting of any lease must comply with any approved management plan for the area (if one is in place).

Notification of proposed leases

 
Recreation Reserve
Public notification of a proposed lease is not required if the activity conforms with and is contemplated by an approved management plan for the area.
Local Purpose Reserve
No requirement for public notification of a proposal to grant a lease.
Recreation Reserve
Depending on significance, Council may decide to publicly notify any proposed lease.
Local Purpose Reserve
Depending on significance, Council may decide to publicly notify any proposed lease.

Reserve Management Plan requirements

 
Recreation Reserve
A management plan is required. Once the management plan is approved for an area, Council must comply with it.
Local Purpose Reserve
A management plan is not required. If a management plan is approved for an area, Council must comply with it.
Recreation Reserve
Council intends to approve a management plan for this area.
Local Purpose Reserve
Council intends to approve a management plan for this area.

Council is aware of a proposal to construct a gondola to the summit of Fringe Hill. The Brook Recreation Reserve area has been identified as an option for the location of a gondola base-station. Whether the affected land is classified as Recreation or Local Purpose Reserve (Recreation) will not be the only factor that determines whether this proposal is ultimately able to proceed. While the leasing provisions applying to local purpose reserves are more permissive, any lease would have to comply with the approved management plan, including the vision for the reserve. The draft management plan adopted in principle neither expressly permits nor excludes such a development. A development of the scale of a gondola would require resource consent under the Resource Management Act and NRMP.

Feedback is now closed and a further update will be available in the early 2017.