Wed, Apr 17, 2024 10:46 AM

Former pony club to be demolished


Maia Hart

An old pony club in Blenheim will be demolished after attempts to find a new owner for the building were unsuccessful.

Marlborough District Council agreed last October to demolish the building on Blenheim’s Taylor River, unless a new owner could be found, in which case its relocation would have been subsidised.

An information report that went to the council’s assets and services committee on Tuesday said council staff had advertised the possible relocation.

There were 12 applications of interest, which “quickly reduced” to two organisations. But those organisations could not secure land for the building, the report said.

The council was therefore progressing with the demolition, which would require a resource consent.

The Blenheim Pony Club had a licence with the Marlborough District Council to use a section of land on the Taylor River for more than 50 years.

During that time, toilets, jumps and a clubroom were built on the site.

A search for a new owner for the building was unsuccessful. Photo: Supplied/Stuff

But in 2018, after seeking financial assistance from the council, the Marlborough Equestrian Centre moved the pony club to Botham's Bend next to the Wairau River.

The building was once a surplus smoko room from the former Blenheim Council Gas Works and had been moved there in the 1970s.

Parks and open spaces officer Robert Hutchinson told the assets and services committee in October they regularly had community groups who approached the council looking for land or wanting a building for storage space.

“We take them down there, we show them, they think about it, and then they go, ‘it's too isolated’,” Robert said.

“There's no ambient light coming from anywhere. It's issues like that that put people off.”

Access to the building was from the Burleigh Bridge, Robert said, so when it flooded, people could not get to the building.

The council therefore proposed to demolish the building, at a cost estimated between $25,000 to $30,000 from the balance leftover from the pony club relocation.

But, at the time, deputy mayor and assets and services David Croad suggested the council subsidised removal of the building to a community group, up to the cost of demolishing it.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ on Air.

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