Men's shed change of location approved

The Alexandra Men's Shed is on the move again - before its new facility is even built.

The Vincent Community Board this week approved a change of location for a new men's shed in Alexandra, from a previously approved site near the Alexandra bike park to one in Boundary Rd.

The men's shed group had been looking for a new site since 2010 and in 2014 the board agreed to lease the group a 900sq m area for a new facility within Molyneux Park, beside the bike park, a report from Central Otago District Council Vincent and Teviot Valley property and facilities officer Christina Martin said.

Initially, the proposal was a joint one between the men's shed and the Alexandra Blossom Festival Trust, which needed space to build and store floats.

However, the festival trust was no longer involved with the project. As well, there were more clubs interested in sites within Molyneux Park. Therefore, other sites for the men's shed should be considered, Ms Martin said.

Two possibilities were an empty area beside Central Otago Wastebusters, in Boundary Rd, and a Boundary Rd building across from Wastebusters that was used mainly as the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) rural fire depot.

Ms Martin recommended the Fenz depot was suitable and community board members agreed.

Men's shed members were happy with the switch, spokesman Malcolm Macpherson said.

"It's slightly smaller [than the new facility that would have been built], but has outside areas that wouldn't be available at the bike park, so on balance it's a perfectly suitable substitute."

The site's location opposite Wastebusters was also a positive thing, Mr Macpherson said.

Ms Martin said Fenz management was supportive of the proposal as eventually Fenz would relocate its Boundary Rd depot to the existing Fenz site at the Clyde railhead.

However, it was important to "be sensitive" to local firefighters, who were happy with the Boundary Rd site, she said.

There would be a "tight" timeframe to get the necessary land transfers done for the Fenz site before the men's shed funding expired. It had $375,000 of grants towards the $400,000 project.

But funders had indicated support and if the matter came before the full council in December, the deadlines would be met, Ms Martin said.

If that was not possible, then the original site would still be made available.

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