Development plan before fund decision

Nigel McKinlay
Nigel McKinlay
A development plan for the Cromwell Lakes Equestrian Club will be done before any decision is made about helping fund a $450,000 irrigation project there, Cromwell Community Board members have decided.

The club had asked the board for $150,000 towards the project at the 91.34ha racecourse, for which the club holds the lease.

The club does not run race events itself, but leases out the racecourse for racing and community events such as fetes, music festivals and rallies.

The grounds are also used for horse trials and pony club events.

The club also generates income by leasing out land at the racecourse for horse grazing, and wants to further develop the land to provide more paddocks to sublease, but to do so needs to improve its irrigation supply.

However, a report from Vincent and Teviot Valley property and facilities officer Christina Martin recommended the board defer its decision on whether to provide $150,000 until the club submitted a minimum five-year development and land-use plan, and until the funding and land requirements resulting from the Cromwell master plan were known.

Board members voted to do that, board member Nigel McKinlay noting the valuable work the equestrian club did and the range of events hosted at the racecourse, but also that the racecourse was a ''big chunk of land'' in the middle of a ''dynamic, changing situation in Cromwell''.

The club has held the lease since 2007 and has the right of renewal until the lease expires in 2042.

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