Consent errors: council

The Queenstown Lakes District Council argues seven errors of law were made when the Environment Court granted consent for a Mitre 10 Mega hardware store on the Frankton Flats.

The council has appealed the consent issued to Mitre 10 Mega, and both the Mitre 10 Mega decision and the consent for a neighbouring Pak'nSave have been appealed by Queenstown Central Ltd, which owns land on the Frankton Flats.

Yesterday during day two of the the High Court hearing, held in the Queenstown District Court, the council's appeal was presented.

Counsel for the council Tony Ray emphasised the importance of plan change 19, which at the time sought to change the zoning of the Frankton Flats.

Among the alleged errors of law is that the Environment Court ''erred in its decision not to defer a decision on the Cross Roads application'' until a decision had been reached on plan change 19.

A decision on the plan change was released on Tuesday, more than eight months after the Environment Court hearing for both proposals. However, the decision itself was not discussed in court yesterday.

Mr Ray emphasised the importance of plan change 19 in determining how the Frankton Flats would be ''urbanised''.

In his submission, presented yesterday, he said the development ''of the presently underdeveloped'' parts of the Frankton Flats required integrated development, which ''can only be achieved in an efficient manner via a plan change process'', this being plan change 19, not by ''individual resource consents for non-complying activities which have the potential to pre-empt that regime''.

''There is little point in embarking upon the process of preparing district plans and changes, which are both time-consuming and expensive for all concerned and which are designed to achieve the best result in planning terms for a significant and important area of the district, if the process can be circumvented.''

In the council's submission it was said the consents created ''further delay'' in the release of plan change 19.

Counsel for Cross Roads Properties - which has has been granted consent to build and operate the Mitre 10 Mega store - Graeme Todd opened his submission yesterday and will continue today.

He said a ''major benefit to local people'' would be identical product pricing in place throughout New Zealand.

The hearing continues today and tomorrow if necessary.