Club flying must cease at Clevedon Domain after June 30th 2014
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 renewed”
To allow the Club more time to find and prepare another flying site, members would like to continue flying under existing rules.
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,
Facts. 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.
Facts. On 1st March 2010, the Clevedon Showgrounds User Group passed the following resolution:
“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 reserve”.
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 some time.
3 The grounds are needed for other sports.
Facts. 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.
Facts. 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.
Facts. 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.
Facts. 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 Andrew.Baker@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz, Mayor Brown or any councillor or FLB member or your local Member of Parliament. .
|Copyright Thisnthat Design 2011|
PMAC was established in 1976 as the Papakura Model Aero Club, the club occupied several sites in the area before establishing at the present site about 1979, which at that time was the A&P Showground. Initially most flying was control line and free flight but now it is radio control. The club had just over 40 members at the end of the first year and at present has approx 130 members.
The club's name was changed to incorporate the word ‘Manukau' due to the Manukau City Council taking over control of the grounds, the club is now the ‘Papakura Manukau Aeromodellers Club (inc)' (PMAC). After MCC took over, the grounds were opened up by the removal of fences which allowed the club to move the flying strip slightly to a more open and unrestricted site.
We have to share the grounds with other sport and equine clubs which mean we have a number of ‘no fly' days throughout the year. These are administered by a ‘user group' who meet periodically to arrange bookings for exclusive use days. Clubs are allowed to apply for exclusive use days when they require the use of the whole grounds to run special events.
The clubs calendar page lists current bookings to date.
The club has two training RC model aircraft along with associated radio control equipment available for beginners to start flying training. The equipment is the 'buddy box' system and caters for any mix of mode 1 (throttle right stick) / mode 2 (throttle left stick), instructor / pupil combination. Also a computer and flight simulator is available for hire.
See PMAC History doc. in the ‘Documents' section for the full club history.
If any member feels they can add detail to the history please forward by email.
Thanks to Allen Teal for the complete document.