An unresolved issue with the Mount Maunganui Cricket and Hockey Society is threatening to ruin the construction of a new cricket pavilion at Blake Park.

Mount Maunganui Cricket and Hockey Society building soon to be demolished.

Mount Maunganui Cricket and Hockey Society building soon to be demolished.

The BOP Cricket Trust has to begin construction this year or it will lose $1 million in TECT funding, and the Tauranga City Council won’t let the trust start building until there is a memorandum of understanding signed with the society.

The society is being forced from its premises and into the new pavilion – a move the society’s vice president Bill Webb says his group is opposed to.

Proposed ground plan for stage 1 of the new pavillion.

Proposed ground plan for stage 1 of the new pavillion.

The issue was born in 2005 when the Tauranga City Council determined not to pay the society a previously agreed $270,000 compensation for the change of premises.

At a council meeting today, Councillor Tony Christiansen attacked the 2005 decision.

“We are taking away facilities from an organisation without any compensation for it,” says Tony.

Mayor Stuart Crosby said the decision was made 10 years ago and Councillor Bill Faulkner said it was common practice to put public toilets into private clubrooms.

Murray Guy says he couldn’t remember which way he voted in 2005.

Ground plan for where new pavillion and oval will be sited. The soon to be demolished are located near the top of the fields.

Ground plan for where new pavillion and oval will be sited. The soon to be demolished are located near the top of the fields.

When Tony asked what reason was given for the decision to demolish the current premises, ‘park clutter’ was given as the reason.

“I know of no other reason,” says Bill.

Larry Baldock questioned why the society cannot continue to use its clubrooms until the new hockey turf is constructed.

The Mount Cricket and Hockey Society and the BOP Cricket Trust are going into arbitration to try and settle matters.

Councillors agreed that approval for construction of the new Blake Park pavilion will be withheld until the memorandum of understanding is achieved.

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