New neighbours oppose A&P showgrounds rebuilding
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 email@example.com 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.