By Mick Jensen
The impressive domain setting of Allenton’s Waireka Croquet Club is in line for an upgrade and expansion.
The club currently has five overlapping playing areas, but expansion early next year will result in the establishment of six full sized lawns with walkways between them.
A long and wide privet hedge on the club’s eastern boundary has been removed by Ashburton council’s open spaces team and will allow the club to extend its grounds by a depth of five metres.
A chunk of the nearby fenced weather station will also be used for the project.
The expansion project had been in the pipeline for a couple of years and was being tackled with the full co-operation of the council, said Waireka Croquet Club publicity officer Raylene Philips.
“We’re very grateful for the council support and as a club we will fund the costs associated with the expansion.
“Having six lawns will give us a better shot at hosting bigger tournaments and will also provide us with a bigger playing space for our membership of over 70 .”
Mrs Philips said the lawns would be closed in late January or early February for the work to begin.
Waireka had struck a deal with both the Allenton and Methven croquet clubs to allow members to use those facilities for the remainder of the summer season.
As well as the laying of new turf, the redevelopment will see the relocation of lawn side shelters and possibly three trees.
Waireka Croquet Club was founded in 1933 and is fully irrigated. New clubrooms were opened in 2005 and the facility hosts both association and golf croquet.