Club flying must cease at Clevedon Domain after June 30th 2014
(see notices page for alternative flying sites)
Statement of facts around the
eviction of PMAC from the Clevedon Domain.
The Papakura Manukau Aeromodellers Club (PMAC) have
been flying miniature and radio controlled aircraft at the Clevedon
Domain for 30 years. Due to alleged potential increased use by
others and possible nearby housing development in the future, the
Franklin local Board (FLB) has now told the club that they have to move
at the end of June 2014. During the week, on most days, the
Showground is deserted. There does not seem to be any valid reason
as to why the current use should not continue. The only viable
reason the FLB has given is “because we said so and your lease was not
To allow the Club more time to find and prepare
another flying site, members would like to continue flying under
Over the last few weeks, Club members have been
seeking the support of Clevedon residents and people attending the
Clevedon Market, in the form of signatures supporting an extension of
time. 100% of the over 800
signatures obtained thus far have been supportive. The Franklin Local
Board has summarily dismissed this petition and refuses to substantiate
the stated reasons for our eviction. They refuse to honour past
assurances given to us by former Manukau Mayors and statements by senior
council parks staff that council did have an obligation to our club, due
to the fact that we were there when council took over control of the
grounds from the A&P and that we could use the ground until such time
when increased use meant we would need to move.
Their stated reasons:
1 Our lease expired in 2007 and was not renewed,
This was the time of redeveloping the new area purchased for the users.
All users, including us, were told that they were on holding leases
until new leases were arranged in the future. We were never told that a
lease would not be granted to us and the first official notice that the
lease would not be renewed was only received in Sept. 2013. Statements
that we were told in 2007 that our lease would not be renewed because of
redevelopment are not true. There was even an allowance in the user
relocation budget to help us move onto the new area but after
discussions with the user group we decided to stay at the present site.
2 A user group meeting voted that we had until 2011
to find a new site.
On 1st March 2010, the Clevedon Showgrounds User Group passed the
“That the Papakura-Manukau
Model Aero Club, in association with Manukau City Council, be given
until mid-2011 to secure a new site other than the Clevedon Showgrounds
At first reading you may come
to the conclusion that this resolution was for us to vacate the grounds
by that date but if you read the resolution carefully you will see that
there is nothing in the resolution saying we would need leave in the
event of not finding a new site. This was worded as such to encourage
the council to find a new site for us which is what we had desired for
3 The grounds are needed for other sports.
The sports fields are mainly used on Saturdays and we gave up all
Saturday flying for this reason. When we are flying the grounds are
completely empty most days.
4 Large housing development planned which would
conflict with our activities.
The large development is at least 5 or 6 years away to the best of our
knowledge. There has been one small development on Monument Road back
towards the village but there is no conflict with this development as we
fly in the opposite direction to where this is.
5 That there is opposition to our presence from other
users and local residents.
The majority of the user groups support us and the results of the
petition from local residents and market visitors show overwhelming
support for our continued use of the grounds.
6 That council found over 70 potential new sites.
Of these sites all were either too small, too close to housing or inside
the CAA Auckland control area where flying is prohibited. A site on
Watercare land near Beachlands was perfect but that was withdrawn by
council because the land was going to be sold. Another site at Waitawa
was deemed not suitable by us on the grounds that the whole area was
planned and mapped out for other activities and we would not have an
overfly area that was clear of other activities’. After several site
visits and talking to the senior ranger it seemed doubtful that we would
be able to level enough ground to make a landing strip because of
restraints on landscaping. The only other site talked about was at
Highbrook where another club is established and you fly facing the sun
which is not very suitable. The ground is not in council control until
mid 2015. Another site mentioned at a FLB meeting was on private
land at Kawakawa Bay owned by Mr Cashmore. All efforts to contact Mr
Cashmore since that meeting to discuss this site have been unsuccessful.
If you wish to support the club please lay a
complaint with the Auckland Council or email your comments to
Mayor Brown or any councillor
or FLB member or your local Member of Parliament. .