A pavilion problem no-one can fix

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Michael Wong and Garfield Charles are all smiles and take down the old notice from the indoor cricket nets building on Monday.

By Mick Jensen

The popular Ashburton domain pavilion can be used this summer – but its future is in doubt.

It has no obvious owners to call upon to address unsanitary and non compliant building issues.

The pavilion is owned by a trust and sits on Ashburton council land.

The trust has one remaining committee member – who is keen to resign – but cannot do so because a quorum of five is needed.

A recent council inspection of the building identified a number of issues and insanitary and dangerous condition notices were issued earlier this month.

As well as holes in the roof, leaky plumbing and non functioning gable ends, there were rotting fascia boards, “stuffed” down pipes and other issues, said Ashburton council building services manager Michael Wong.

A recent voluntary clean up by Mid Canterbury Cricket had improved some of those issues and a new notice had been issued on Monday to allow access over the summer season.

The new notice allowed entry for a maximum of 50 people at any one time.

Ashburton council had been forced to step in to manage the issues at the pavilion, which were complicated by the fact that building extensions dating back to 1999 had never formally been signed off, Mr Wong said.

He said the the pavilion situation was “unusual” and something he had never come across before.

He praised pavilion users, including cricketers and athletes, for their proactive approach in working with council to get the building operational again.

“In the longer term, someone will need to take ownership of the pavilion and decisions will need to be made on the way forward.”

A future report for a full council meeting would outline possible future options for the facility and would include the costs of getting it to the stage where it could be signed off, said Mr Wong.

Options could include council taking over ownership of the pavilion, the pavilion being sold, or a new domain pavilion committee set up to manage it.

Mid Canterbury Cricket director Garfield Charles said he was “over the moon” with the new pavilion notice which allowed access for the current season.

The previous notice, combined with bad weather, had forced Mid Canterbury Cricket to cancel its recent school holiday programme, he said.

The building is also used as a meeting venue.