A proposal to use land occupied by Riding for the Disabled for stormwater drainage works has sent the organisation into a spin.
Riding for the Disabled (RDA) co-ordinator Kate Jaunay said the organisation was surprised it was not advised before the Wanganui District Council included the proposal - aimed at relieving flooding issues in the vicinity - in its draft plan.
RDA has leased land on the corner of London and Purnell Sts from the council for 36 years, and part of the land is owned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
The NZTA land was set aside for a planned through-road to New Plymouth, but that never eventuated, and the present roundabout layout was built.
Mrs Jaunay says she sees sense in the council buying the strips, since it owns the rest of the RDA site.
"The council has every right as owner to use the land as they like, but having leased the land for 36 years, I thought they might have mentioned to us before putting the proposal in the plan."
Mrs Jaunaysaid it would be a shame to think all the RDA improvements made to the property over the years - the in-fill and fencing and its buildings and recent improvements - would be wiped to sort out drainage issues that may or may not be solved by the proposed option.
"We have been planning to fix a stormwater drainage issue which causes the arena guttering to flood into the stable in heavy rain. It would require laying a drainage pipe across about 50m of one of the lower paddocks below the arena, and putting it all the way into the Churton Creek bed so the system becomes a closed drainage system and, in effect, siphons water from the guttering.
"But we have now put that project off, as well as planned improvements to insulating the staffroom."
Ray Stevens, councillor and chair of the Infrastructure committee, said the council did not have the funds for the RDA option and it would most likely look at Springvale Park as an option.
Wanganui District Council infrastructure manager Mark Hughes says it is NZTA's responsibility to advise RDA about any matters relating to that part of the site it owns. The RDA has no lease arrangement with NZTA.
"The only use for the land would be as a swale, and we have asked for public submissions on this as part of the current consultation on our draft annual plan," Mr Hughes said.
He said council has told the NZTA that it did not wish to purchase the land unless the Annual Plan submissions supported this.