New neigh­bours op­pose A&P show­grounds re­build­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MAR­JORIE COOK

A coun­cil panel’s de­ci­sion is still pending on whether the Wanaka A&P So­ci­ety can have a long term ground lease for an ex­panded show build­ing.

The so­ci­ety has oc­cu­pied a Wanaka re­serve off McDougall St for 78 years. It used to be a pad­dock on the town out­skirts.

The re­serve is known as ‘‘the show­grounds’’ – for that was what it was mostly been used for; that and walk­ing across to get to the lake.

But at last week’s lease hear­ing, lawyer Jayne Macdon­ald (for op­poser John Baines) said de­spite the public per­cep­tion, ‘‘it is not a show­grounds at all’’.

What­ever it is, the re­serve also sports his­toric sheep yards and stock pens and a wool­shed.

There is also a rugby club­house and two smaller build­ings of un­known own­er­ship.

In 2006, the so­ci­ety’s long, rick­ety, wooden build­ing blew down in a storm. The rem­nants were de­mol­ished and re­moved and a tem­po­rary smaller build­ing erected quickly for the 2007 show.

Be­cause the show­grounds had been iden­ti­fied as a site for new sports fa­cil­i­ties, a 10-year ground lease was agreed.

Now the sports fa­cil­i­ties are un­der way at Three Parks, the so­ci­ety wants to re­in­state the his­toric, long-term ten­ancy and build some­thing that is near enough to its orig­i­nal foot­print.

But by re­build­ing in 2007, the so­ci­ety lost its ex­ist­ing use rights. So it must first ap­ply for a new ground lease, then ap­ply for re­source con­sent to ex­tend the new build­ing.

Mean­while, the Mead­ow­stone sub­urb has swal­lowed up all the pad­docks on the west bound­ary of the show­grounds.

There are many more near neigh­bours now than in 2006 – 10 more houses on Lans­down St alone.

Some neigh­bours op­pose the ex­ten­sion be­cause it would af­fect the amenity they have en­joyed for nine years.

They have also crit­i­cised the so­ci­ety for not con­sult­ing.

The coun­cil’s prop­erty con­sul­tant Jo Con­roy ex­plained con­sul­ta­tion is con­nected to the re­source con­sent phase, which has yet to oc­cur.

‘‘We don’t use the re­source con­sent process with an ap­pli­ca­tion for a lease. It [the cost of the process] could be a lit­tle bit tax­ing for a not­for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion,’’ she said.

So­ci­ety ju­nior vice pres­i­dent Grant Rud­den­klau apol­o­gised.

‘‘I am new on the com­mit­tee. I have just picked this up. It would have been bet­ter to advertise a meet­ing and dis­cuss,’’ he said.

How­ever, the amenity would be im­proved by re­mov­ing the mis­cel­la­neous build­ings, in­clud­ing the wool­shed (not the rugby club; it has its own lease).

The so­ci­ety would store show equip­ment, the Wanaka Coast­guard boat and Wanaka Row­ing Club gear, Rud­den­klau said.

But op­posers said no-one needed to store any gear on site, es­pe­cially for an event held two days a year. Chal­lenge Wanaka did not seek to build a large stor­age shed on public land; nor should the so­ci­ety, they ar­gued.

Rud­den­klau said the two events could not be com­pared.

The show build­ing was ‘‘com­mon sense’’, was log­i­cally placed on the west bound­ary, he said.

The Mir­ror has three dou­ble passes to give­away to the 2015 Fresh-up Com­edy Tour in Queen­stown. To en­ter email us on mir­ with Com­edy Tour in the sub­ject line. Be sure to in­clude your con­tact de­tails. Funny guys: Vaughan King, Dai Hen­wood and Ben Hur­ley are com­ing to Queen­stown. All wel­come – ex­cept dick­heads who don’t like fun.

Neigh­bour trou­ble: The for­mer Wanaka A&P Show build­ing.

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