Waimairi Beach golf club in the rough

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 12/06/2013
Waimairi Golf Club
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
WRECKED: Waimairi Beach Golf Club manager John Herdman surveys the earthquake-damaged clubroom he is still waiting to rebuild.

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A Christchurch golf club trying to redevelop its earthquake-stricken course is being "driven up the wall" by council consenting delays over its buildings.

Waimairi Beach Golf Club spent $1.7 million rebuilding their golf course after liquefaction destroyed 16 of its 18 holes in the earthquakes, and reopened in May this year.

Their clubhouse and implement shed were also badly damaged in the February quake and were expected to be rebuilt in time for the opening.

However, despite applying to the Christchurch City Council for building consents to rebuild them up to four months ago, they are still waiting for approval.

Club manager John Herdman said after the Parklands course reopened on May 1, the lack of facilities was "driving us up the wall".

"We have 680 members here who are desperately waiting on some facilities and we are getting pretty frustrated that we can't move forward."

The building consent application for the implement shed was lodged with the council in February, Herdman said, and confirmation it had been received came a few days later.

The same thing happened when they applied for building consent for the clubhouse, and a demolition consent for it, in April.

They have not heard from the council since, Herdman said.

"We just can't get an answer from the council as to when they might hear our case.

"We have [project managers] Opus ringing them twice a week, and all they get is the number of people ahead of us."

Herdman said that on May 21 the council contacted them saying they also needed a resource consent, which would "delay them even longer" but was promptly submitted. "Here we are in the eastern suburbs trying to operate a recreational facility and we're just getting held up by red tape."

The council aims to process building consents within 20 working days.

Acting unit manager building operations Aaron Haymes said the council faced "a significant challenge" processing consents.

"Unfortunately processing times have slowed with extremely high demand for consenting services, but all hands are on deck."

Most aspects of the club's consent applications had been completed, he said.

Club member Fred Poskitt, who has been playing the course for more than 40 years, said it was "a real shame things were taking so long. They're unable to hold proper club events. People stick around for a drink or two outside, but what's going to happen when we get wet weather?"

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Poskitt said he knew at least three people who would not renew their club membership next season because of the holdup.

- The Press

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