Court correct: Foodstuffs

The Environment Court was correct in issuing consent for the proposed Wakatipu Pak 'n Save supermarket ahead of the final decision from a separate court hearing on the zoning of the Frankton Flats, the owner of Pak'n Save, Foodstuffs, said.

The Pak'n Save consent, the result of an Environment Court hearing in May, is being appealed by Queenstown Central Ltd - which owns land near the potential supermarket site - while consent for a Mitre 10 Mega hardware store at the flats is being appealed by both Queenstown Central Ltd and the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

Yesterday, during day three of the High Court hearing in the Queenstown District Court of the appeals,

Foodstuffs' response to the appeal was put forward.

''The Environment Court was fully aware of the circumstances in relation to the status of PC19 [plan change 19] and the respective arguments as to whether the Pak'n Save decision should be made pending the outcome of the `higher-order issues','' counsel for Foodstuffs, Nic Soper, said in his submission.

''The Environment Court then evaluated the factors both for and against deferring its decision and concluded that those in favour of proceeding were of greater weight than those in favour of delay,'' he said.

Foodstuffs was granted consent to build and operate a Pak'n Save at the Frankton Flats under both the operative district plan and the proposed plan change 19.

The long-awaited decision on the plan change was released on Tuesday.

But those in possession of the decision were either unwilling to comment to the Otago Daily Times or still digesting its 300 pages.

Earlier in the day, counsel for Mitre 10 Mega Graeme Todd presented the hardware store's response to appeals.

Mr Todd also argued the Environment Court was justified in granting consent for both stores ahead of the plan change 19 decision.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council's appeal on Wednesday alleged there were seven errors of law in granting consent for the hardware store, including not deferring consent until after the plan change decision was made.

The hearing is scheduled to conclude today.