Consent gained for covered riding area

Dunedin's Riding for the Disabled Association has received permission to create a covered riding arena at its Fairfield property.

A  Dunedin City Council resource consent means RDA will be able to erect a covered canopy over an existing riding area at the Flower St site. But the organisation will have to wait at least another month before it knows whether its application for funding has been successful. RDA has owned the Flower St site since 1994 and has been running a community riding school open to people of all abilities to help offset the costs of running the RDA programme.

Bad weather has at times meant disabled riders have had their lessons cancelled. The  disruptions have meant the regular therapeutic nature of riding has been interrupted and tutors have been unable to schedule sessions building on the previous lesson.

At present, RDA uses the Flower St site during daylight hours, seven days a week, throughout the entire year. Traffic movements consist mainly of private cars or light passenger vans, of which there are an average of 20 to 30 per day, seven days a week. Those movements increase four times a year, on competition days, but the number of riders attending event days is limited to 50.

Because the size of the proposed roof canopy was subject to the amount of funding the RDA could receive from Lotteries, consent was sought for the maximum size, 65m long, 30m wide and 9m high. The consent took into account the structure could be smaller than the maximum. As described in the application, the cover is to be suspended above the ground to form a curved roof made of a fabric cladding (Tuffspan).

Overall, the proposed canopy would have little or no visual impact on surrounding properties, except for one Flower St address, the owner of which had given written approval.

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