Request to renew lease declined

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An application to renew a lease for Central Otago Riding for the Disabled (Corda) has been declined by the Vincent Community Board.
Corda has a lease on land and buildings in the Alexandra Recreation Reserve near the golf course until 2023, and was asking for a further 20-year period after its current lease expired.

Board chairman Martin McPherson said they confirmed Corda still had a current lease until 2023, but instead of renewing the lease for a further term they were encouraging the group to work with the Dunstan Equestrian Centre to develop a joint facility in Dunstan Rd.
Central Otago District Council property and facility officer for the Teviot Valley/Vincent ward Christina Martin said many of the facilities at the Corda site needed to be updated and residential developments were moving closer to the area.

Combining resources with the equestrian centre could mean they could potentially develop an indoor arena that would be of benefit to both groups, she said.
Equestrian centre vice-president Christine Williamson said Corda provided an ‘‘excellent service’’ to people with disabilities and they respected the passion the group had and hoped they could work together.

‘‘We do have [a] joint vision that could be realised by working together.’’
Both organisations had facilities that needed to be upgraded and Corda had the potential to expand its service in particular if it had a covered or indoor arena.
‘‘This would mean they would be able to provide all-year-round sessions.’’
Corda chairwoman Gabrielle Berkett said they accepted with ‘‘extreme disappointment’’ the recommendation to decline their request for an extension of their lease.

‘‘However, we feel that in accepting this decision the VCB has fallen short in its overarching role of representing and advocating for the interests of their respective community, which includes special volunteer organisations such as ours.’’
Mr McPherson said giving Corda a clear message its lease would expire in 2023 provided the group ‘‘plenty of time to plan for its future’’.

‘‘This will not lead to the demise of this organisation or the great work they accomplish.’’
Funding agencies encouraged the combining of groups’ facilities and the development of a multipurpose site would be attractive to various trusts and funding sources, he said.
The creation of an equestrian hub would bring benefits to both parties, and a proposed purpose-built, covered arena would allow both groups to expand their present activities.
‘‘The board is confident that any new facility will be safe and secure for all participants and users,’’ he said.