The man behind the Saddle Hill quarry plans to take his
fight to the High Court, but has criticised the Dunedin City
Council for putting jobs on the line.
Calvin Fisher, the director of Saddle Views Estate Ltd, said
yesterday he was ''disappointed'' by this week's Environment
Court ruling, which found there was no consent for the quarry
on the prominent landmark.
He planned to take legal advice next week, but expected an
appeal would follow.
''We're quite firm with our evidence. We think the weight of
our evidence certainly will be worthy of an appeal.''
His comments came after the court this week ruled ''on the
balance of probability'' no resource consent had ever existed
for the quarry.
The court was yet to decide if the quarry had existing use
rights and, if so, the level of those rights.
A decision on that could see the quarry ordered to cease
operations, if the court ruled there were existing use rights
that had been exceeded, it was reported yesterday.
The quarry had been operating under restrictions that
prevented damage to the ridgeline since last November, but Mr
Fisher yesterday vowed it would remain ''business as usual''.
''The quarry has been a quarry for 100 years and it will
continue to be a quarry.''
However, he criticised the council's stance, saying the
future of eight jobs at the quarry was ''on the line''.
''I'm concerned about keeping people's jobs, which was
something the council was beeping on about when hundreds and
hundreds of jobs have been lost.''
Cr Colin Weatherall said yesterday the council remained
impartial, but had an enforcement process to follow and would
accept the court's decisions.
However, the second part of the Environment Court ruling -
due next week - would be enforced until any appeals could be
heard, Cr Weatherall said.
That meant restrictions protecting the ridgeline would
continue, but an injunction or other enforcement action could
be considered, if needed, to prevent damage to the ridgeline,
''If we suspect they're exceeding ...and they continue to
take out large volumes, which were in breach of the
Environment Court, of course we'd have to consider the
Council services and development general manager Sue Bidrose
said the existing position meant the ridgeline was protected.
If next week's decision on existing use rights also went
against Mr Fisher, and appeals followed, ''then there will be
a decision about continuing the existing arrangements''.
''If the decision says he can't affect the ridgeline, and he
appeals the decision, we will certainly look at putting
measures in place to legally protect the ridgeline.''