Neighbours of unfinished Wanaka mansion entitled to costs after High Court stoush

Neighbours of unfinished Wanaka mansion entitled to costs after High Court stoush

A Wanaka building, at the centre of a High Court civil dispute heard in Invercargill this month. Neighbours taking issue with the height of an unfinished Wanaka mansion and some cleared vegetation around it have won a judicial review.

Wanaka ratepayers Murray Frost, William Brown and Jennifer Munns took the Queenstown Lakes District Council, building owners David and Paula Clarke and PKF Goldsmith Fox Trustees #3 Ltd to court earlier this month .

The building in question would stand 8.9 metres tall, on Briar Bank Dr, with views of Lake Wānaka.

Justice Rachel Dunningham released her High Court decision last week, finding the neighbours were entitled to costs, but the land use consent was not quashed.

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Lawyer for the three neighbours argued the council did not consider public or private views from the west and north, but the Justice ruled in favour of the council.

The neighbours also took issue with screening vegetation which was removed during construction.

The council pointed out the application proposed removal of about 640 square metres of kanuka and, following construction, would provide 428 square metres of structural planting.

Justice Dunningham ruled in favour of the neighbours.

The neighbours also took issue with the height of the building, however the justice determined the council did not ignore its effects, and consequently did not uphold the ground of review.

There was also contention about a removed consent notice, that would have mandated the building be screened from the shoreline.
Justice Dunningham found the limited notification was made on the wrong legal basis, being that effects of vegetation removal were minor when they should have been less than minor.However, in the special circumstances of that case, Dunningham declined to grant relief as sought.The neighbours were entitled to costs on a 2B [averaged complexity, normal amount of time] basis, with memoranda seeking costs to be filed by July 2 if an agreement could not be reached.Together, we can keep it that way.Like you, we want the best for Aotearoa and everyone who lives in it. We’re Kiwis who believe in democracy and equality, and we know that those things depend on a free and non-partisan press.If you share those values too, become a Stuff supporter and help keep our news accessible to all New Zealanders. Your contribution will help power our newsrooms across the nation, and the dedicated journalists who work in them, so they can continue telling important stories every day. Contribute to Stuff’s mission today.

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