Council to appeal rural subdivision decision

Wednesday 7 July 2004

The Queenstown Lakes District Council said it would appeal a controversial Environment Court rural subdivision decision in the High Court, a move that could cost ratepayers up to $100,000.

By The Landlord

Mayor Clive Geddes said, after a special council meeting last night, the council voted to appeal the Environment Court ruling which overturned a council decision to decline Hawthorn Estate's 32-lot Lower Shotover subdivision. The public was excluded from the discussion.

The appeal could cost the council between $80,000 and $100,000 but Mr Geddes said, after consistent legal advice, the council believed the decision "involved several errors of law" .

It would set a precedent for additional rural development in the Wakatipu Basin, which would be contrary to the wishes of the community and to the council's interpretation of the district plan.

Last week council chief executive Duncan Field said the decision was a "big shock" and could prompt a flood of more intense rural subdivision applications.

There was a real risk of serious over-domestication on the site bound by Lower Shotover, Domain and Speargrass Flat roads, Mr Field said last week.

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