Tauranga's three dog clubs have achieved a big breakthrough by persuading the council to set aside a special area for their activities and competitions.
Tauranga City Council has agreed in principle to allow the clubs exclusive use of a 1300sq m area of Cambridge Park, the former Cambridge Road tip. A final decision awaits the outcome of consultation with people who could be affected by the proposal.
"We are absolutely delighted - it is an excellent outcome," Tauranga Kennel Association president Rose Lee said.
The council planned to spend $40,000 in the 2014-15 financial year on earthworks, including carting in fill to level the site north of the new BMX track and toilet block.
Until then, the three clubs will continue to use Morland Fox Park, Waipuna Park and Links Avenue Reserve. The other clubs involved in the joint approach to the council were the Tauranga Dog Training Club and the Tauranga Dog Obedience Club.
Mrs Lee said the decision has given the clubs hope of a more certain future, free of disruptions to venues and complaints. "Not everyone likes dogs," she said.
Mayor Stuart Crosby said three residents living around Morland Fox Park had issues with barking dogs, including one resident who was "very concerned".
The decision to give the clubs their own site also meant they would not have to fit in with other park users, particularly as demand increased from the key codes of rugby, soccer and rugby league.
Council recreation planner Stephanie Wheeler said the dog clubs had expressed a commitment to fundraising for additional carparking, training lights, storage and clubrooms.
She said the shift to Cambridge Park would eliminate conflict with neighbours, allow the clubs to plan for the future and increase the capacity of the three sports fields.
The clubs have a combined membership of 212 and host up to six competitions a year, with the largest event attracting up to 500 competitors and 700 dogs.