An Environment Court judge will hear next month whether
quarrying should continue on the Saddle Hill ridge line,
before determining whether the practice is legal.
Dates were set yesterday for a hearing of the matter in the
Environment Court at Dunedin.
It was expected the hearing would be before Judge Jon Jackson
and start on December 18, then continue the following day if
The Dunedin City Council sought clarity over whether quarry
operator Saddle Views Estate Ltd could remove stone from the
landmark ridge line, which the council wanted to protect.
The council understood work to remove part of the ridge line
was outside the area covered by quarrying rights.
Saddle Views Estate Ltd director Calvin Fisher believed work
carried out was legal and the council was being overzealous.
Work was stopped earlier this month when Judge Jackson made
an interim enforcement order against the company, prompted by
a council application for quarrying to cease.
The council was anxious to know what could be considered
legal in respect of the quarry operation.
In 2011, it applied for a declaration of the company's rights
because it could not locate copies of consents.
As chairman of the council's hearings committee, Cr Colin
Weatherall was delegated Environment Court matters and said
the council's primary goal was to have the ridge line's
"It should be protected from change," he said.
Cr Weatherall expected Judge Jackson to reserve his decision
at the end of the hearing and make a formal ruling early next
"I expect he will hear the case then take some time to
consider it. Our only question then will be whether he will
leave the interim injunction in place until his final
decision is made." The court hearing was likely to take place
inside the Hutton Theatre at the Otago Museum.