Work at racecourse remains on hold

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Construction work at the storm-damaged Waimate Racecourse is still on hold, with the Waimate District Council having not yet received building consent applications.

In September 2013, the grandstands’ roofs were blown off as a result of high winds, and an administration building was also damaged.

Waimate Racecourse trustees reached a settlement with insurers, but it was not considered viable to rebuild the facilities.

Last September, trustees decided to replace the grandstands with two former classrooms from Weston School, which were expected to be transported to Waimate by the end of 2014.

However, Waimate Racecourse trustee Bill Johnson said the classrooms were still at the school and time was running out to have them shifted north.

“The two classrooms we are getting from Oamaru have to be off the premises by the end of the month, so we are getting a bit desperate.”

He was unsure when they would arrive.

Waimate District Council property and regulatory services manager Sue Kelly said she was aware of what the plans were for Waimate Racecourse, but no consent applications had been received.

“There’s no progress as far as we’re concerned because they have not applied for consent as yet. As I understand it, they are still in the process of getting an architect to come up with drawings, so we have not been involved.”

According to Mr Johnson, Waimate’s AP Building has been contracted to complete construction work.

It was expected the Waimate Trotting Club’s March meeting would be held at the racecourse, but it will now be held at Oamaru Racecourse on March 15.

By Daniel Birchfield