Men's shed site questioned

Building a ''men's shed'' on land in Molyneux Park would breach land use zoning in Alexandra, a Vincent Community Board member says.

At a board meeting this week Stu Millis, of Alexandra, opposed the use of land next to the Alexandra Toy Library and the Scout Den for a new, larger men's shed, saying it was an industrial activity.

''I would like to speak strongly against this ... We have zoning in this town. It should be put in an industrial area somewhere down near [Central Otago] WasteBusters.''

The park was a recreational facility, and the men's shed did not fit with other recreational uses of the area, he said.

Mr Millis went on to clarify he was not opposed to the men's shed, but its proposed new location.

Despite Mr Millis' opposition, other board members supported the proposal.

The board requested the Alexandra Men's Shed Trust and the Alexandra Blossom Festival, who would jointly occupy the new shed, undertake a feasibility study and consult neighbours and community stakeholders.

It also recommended granting a 15-year lease of about 900sq m of land to the two groups for the proposed shed.

A proposed 15m by 45m steel-clad shed was also approved for the site, subject to any variations required by the board.

The Alexandra Men's Shed, a branch of the national men's shed movement, established to cater for the wellbeing of retired men by providing a work space, had been seeking a new location as the present shed, located next to the Molyneux Park BMX bike park was not large enough for the number of users.

A new building would allow the addition of metalworking facilities, expected to double the current membership to about 40, and provide more space for constructing and storing floats for the blossom festival grand procession.

Blossom festival event organiser and councillor Martin McPherson, speaking in support of the building, said the men's shed was a voluntary group, and not engaged in industrial activity.

A report to the board from the Central Otago District Council property officer, Brian Taylor, had described men's shed activities as ''passive recreational''.

Mr McPherson said the proposed building site was not utilised, and the most suitable which was available without having to purchase commercial land.

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