An art club has been forced to find a new location (file image)
An art club has been forced to find a new location (file image)

Club’s den deemed ‘fire hazard’ under new building renos

A LOCKYER Valley art club will be forced to find a new location after its home of 20 years was deemed an unacceptable risk.

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council identified that the pottery club’s kiln presented as a fire hazard, and the building certifier told council they would be “found negligent” if the club stayed.

Councillors were told by Group manager for community and regional property Amanda Pugh that multiple options for relocation had been presented to the art group.

However, none had been agreed upon by the club.

As a result, the pottery club were requested to vacate its Gatton Shire Hall location by December 31.

“There was a considerable effort to have them located to the historical village – both parties were not positive about the proposal,” Ms Pugh told the councillors.

She said a number of other locations had been identified but the pottery club did not approve.

Currently, the pottery club pays $390 rent per year to have a sole-occupancy tenancy space at the south eastern end of the Gatton Shire Hall.

The building certifier suggested that a new internal, unlockable access be provided from the main part of the building, which means the pottery club’s room would no longer be classed as sole-occupancy tenancy.

Ms Pugh said the site would be deemed safe if there was no lockable door between the pottery club’s space and the rest of the building – which the club disputed.

“One of the reasons they pay rent is so that they have the sole space and deny access from the remainder of the hall,” she said.

Councillor Rick Vela said the fire hazard was a liability council couldn’t turn away from.

“Low kiln temperatures are 500 degrees, that’s double than a kitchen oven, and if they’re firing ceramics, its 1200 degrees,” he said.

“Perhaps they could have lockable cabinets that they can lock away their stuff.”

Cr Chris Wilson said there would be a “fair bit of emotion” attached to the pottery club’s current site.

“We do need to find them another location,” he said.

Councillors agreed they would submit a formal letter to the club to vacate on December 31, and that they would continue to assist the Lockyer Valley Art Society to find a suitable location in which to relocate the pottery club.