The Spalding Horse and Pony Club are being told they may have to move home, and they're not happy.
Barbara O'Donovan from the club has been rallying other members and contacting the CGG to express dissatisfaction with the council's plans.
Posting on Everything Geraldton's Facebook wall, she says:
should the council be allowed to 'develop' the land that was 'gifted' to the Spalding Horse & Pony Club?..fill up that lovely green parcel of land with boring row after row of ugly brick and tile houses? Just last week I heard a statistic that stated that our WA Kids are rated as the 'fattest' in Australia?wonder why when we are taking our recreational spaces and parks away from them?..why don't the council beautify this area and build purpose built clubrooms for ALL the community to use..the pony club doesn't take up the whole space..there is lots of room to the South that could be turned into Natural playgrounds, beautiful Native Garden walks, community vege gardens, orchards for the community ..a big skate park?..why keep building ugly houses and shops when there are plenty of shops closed down in the CBD and current business struggling to stay open??..do something smart ...rumour is that the pony club is relocating out to Chapman Valley?..thats another 20kms trip out of town...that will make a huge different to members..and what about the Disabled Riding Group..that happens every Friday at the pony club..all run by volunteers..? a big ask to drive another 20kms out of town..to devote time to run this fantastic community program for our disabled kids??....what does the community think..??
In letters to the CGG, the club mentioned that:
It is an interesting but unfortunately little known fact that the land SHPC are located on has been dedicated to equine related activities by former Mayor Spalding back in 1891.
Marie Hart, Chief Coach from the Spalding Horse and Pony Club said in her letter to the councillors that members of the club are not willing to relocate south of the Chapman River, because they all live north of the river, and want a location close to where they all live.
And then there's the open space issue
In addition to the desires of the club itself, members are claiming that the green open space the club provides by using that land is in itself valuable to the ambience of Sunset Beach, and developing the land would spoil it. They say the club is open to the community at large to use, and many locals love the presence of the club there in Sunset.
But the CGG believe the wider community would be better served by relocating the club from prime development land to a more suitable long term location.
The City of Greater Geraldton has responded to our enquiries on the matter, with the following information:
The Spalding Horse and Pony club was provided a five year lease that expires at the end of this month (June). The club has been advised they will move onto a holding over period on a month by month basis on the same terms of the current lease.
The City identified as part of the Draft Sporting Futures Plan process and the Greater Geraldton Structure Plan (approved by the Minister for Planning in May 2011) that the land adjacent to the existing Sunset Beach Shopping Centre (where the Spalding Horse and Pony Club is situated) would be an ideal future redevelopment site given its location along Chapman Road. The land has significant potential in the future for redevelopment as commercial, residential and community uses development and as such forms part of the Sunset Beach Precinct Plan.
The City has had a number of meetings with club committee representatives during the Draft Sporting Futures Plan process that identified alternative sites for relocation. Last month a very positive site visit was conducted at the Nanson Showgrounds within the Shire of Chapman Valley that workshopped club requirements on this site for a move to this location. The meeting was attended by staff from the Shire of Chapman Valley as well, that are in full support for such a move. Other sites that have been discussed include Woorree, Moonyoonooka, Waggrakine and Walkaway.