Surf club revamp picked to pieces

KELVIN TEIXEIRA
Last updated 09:49 08/11/2012

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Horowhenua Mail

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The just-completed upgrade of the Foxton Beach Surf Club building has been labelled a "downgrade" by Foxton Community Board member Basil Vertongen.

Speaking at this week's board meeting, he said the building's main feature, being its outlook over the beach and sea, had been destroyed.

"All the windows at the front are now higher and smaller, so if you sit down inside you may be able to see a plane flying past, but not a boat on the water," he said.

"The balcony has been replaced, narrower so that you can't even stretch your legs out to the front when sitting down, but also the 10mm steel bar uprights have been replaced with timber. It's like putting a venetian blind over your car windscreen and trying to drive down the road."

Owned by the Horowhenua District Council, the building is leased by the Foxton Surf Lifesaving Club.

Club president Shaun Sayer said he preferred not to comment on Mr Vertongen's concerns until after the clubhouse had been officially handed back to the club to use.

However, he said Mr Vertongen had put a lot of effort into the surf club building over the years which was worth acknowledgement.

The council's chief executive David Ward told the Horowhenua Mail that Mr Vertongen was well aware of the work being undertaken during the project and was the sole objector to the result.

At its meeting this week the Foxton Community Board requested to meet with council staff on- site at the surf club building in the next few days to discuss the issues.

Mr Vertongen said another flaw was that clear glass had been put in the women's toilets making them able to be seen into from outside.

"How ridiculous can you get?," he said.

"It's absolutely shocking. I've had enough with council officers running riot and doing what they wanted.

"Everything the board asked for, we got half of and at second- best."

Mr Ward said council staff, the Foxton Community Board and the surf lifesaving club were all involved in the project throughout.

"And, we certainly have not heard any concerns from the surf club members," he said.

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- Horowhenua Mail

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