The likelihood of an appeal has prompted the Dunedin City
Council to send a fresh application to have land designated for
a troubled urban highway realignment straight to the
The council would normally take such decisions itself, but
the land has already been the subject of one failed
designation attempt by the council, which resulted in lengthy
The land is required for the realignment of State Highway 88
around Forsyth Barr Stadium.
The road was physically realigned in 2010-11, but the land
designation for it was quashed by the court after the council
admitted it had not properly consulted affected landowner
Access to Mr Hall's yard is affected by the realigned road.
The court has also ordered an injunction stopping traffic
lights outside Mr Hall's property being turned on because of
safety issues around trucks entering and exiting his yard.
Until the designation is completed, the road is not legal.
The council publicly notified its application for the
designation afresh last month.
Chief executive Paul Orders yesterday said he had decided to
refer the decision directly to the Environment Court, in
preference to the usual process of a council hearing before
any appeals to the Environment Court.
In this case, where there was ''a long history'' of
litigation and submissions opposing the application, it
seemed ''inevitable'' an Environment Court hearing would be
necessary, he said.
It seemed more timely and efficient to have the court
consider the matter directly.
Mr Hall has submitted in opposition to the proposed
designation, as has AJ Allen Ltd.
There is, however, still one more opportunity for the council
to decide to keep the decision in-house.
Senior council planner Paul Freeland said an independent
planning consultant would prepare a recommending report
within 20 working days and provide it to every submitter.
The council then had 10 working days to decide whether it
still wanted to proceed to the Environment Court.
''If we feel the situation has changed through discussions
with submitters, or through other factors, then the council
still has the opportunity to hold a hearing and make a
decision and see whether that decision is appealed.''
If the council proceeded with the direct referral to the
Environment Court, usual appeal processes would apply.
If the designation is approved, the road will form part of
the State Highway 88 network.
Mr Hall, who is running for the council in this year's local
body elections, opposes the council's application because he
believes it continues to inadequately address the access
issues around his property and fails to address the safety
He has submitted that the safest and most appropriate
alignment of the road would be through his property.