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A quiet, scenic site tucked away in urban Ashburton is set to open soon for members of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA).

The new Ashburton NZMCA Park is located off Melrose Road and has been developed on land leased by the Allenton Rugby Club.

Fully fenced and landscaped, the site covers an area of 6500m2 and has capacity for 60 motorhomes or caravans. The site has water and a small registration kiosk and all users will be self-contained.

Allenton Rugby Club president Todd Grieve said the agreement reached with NZMCA was a win-win for both sides. “It’s on surplus land that hasn’t been used for rugby for the last five years and the arrangement means we have another source of income coming into the club, which is important with ever-rising operational costs.”

Mr Grieve said discussions had started 18 months ago and a five year lease, renewable three times, had been agreed by the two parties.

NZMCA national property and policy manager James Imlach said the association had been on the look out for a new site in the Ashburton for the last couple of years.

The Melrose Road option had been highlighted as a good location by local association members and a long term agreement had been reached with the Allenton Rugby Club. Ashburton District Council had signed off on land use consent and the project had progressed to where the park was now almost ready to open.

Mr Imlach said it was the second NZMCA park in Mid Canterbury, the other was on Maronan Ealing Road. Canterbury was a popular touring destination for association members, who typically spent two nights at parks and spent an average of $90 a day, he said.

NZMCA has 110,000 members and operates 53 other parks around the country. Members are allowed to stay for up to 10 days at each park within a 30 day period.

-By Mick Jensen