Judge told of effect on projects

More industrial land would be created at the Frankton Flats in Queenstown by the plan change 19 interim decision by reducing the zone intended for mixed business, counsel for Mitre 10 Mega Graeme Todd said yesterday.

Yesterday, during day four of the High Court hearing in the Queenstown District Court to hear the appeals against Mitre 10 Mega and Pak'n Save, Justice John Fogarty heard how the plan change 19 interim decision could affect the projects.

When the proposals were heard in the Environment Court in May arguments against Mitre 10 Mega were that it would occupy land which was zoned for industrial activities.

Justice Fogarty must decide whether there were errors of law in the Environment Court's decision to grant consents for the proposals and, until yesterday, he had refused to hear what plan change 19 involved.

Yesterday, counsel for Mitre 10 Mega Graeme Todd said the plan change 19 interim decision - which sought to change the zoning of the Frankton Flats - made more industrial land available.

However, there was a long way to go before the plan change became final, Mr Todd said.

Judge Jon Jackson made the decision to grant consent for the proposals before the plan change 19 decision, and his failure to defer that decision until plan change 19 was resolved was a core argument of the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown Central Ltd.

The council also argued industrial land in the Wakatipu was a scarce resource and the proposed loss would be significant.

Justice Fogarty observed that Queenstown was no doubt expanding and providing for this expansion was essential ''and that's why Judge Jackson decided to keep going''.

Counsel for Foodstuffs Nic Soper said plan change 19 provided greater certainty to some matters but ''left the door open'' for others.

''Judge Borthwick's decision as it relates to Pak'n Save is it cuts in half the E2 zone, so clearly it's not a desirable outcome for my client,'' Mr Soper said.

The E2 zone allows for mixed business including industrial, while the E1 zone is primarily for industrial activities.

Mr Todd and Mr Soper both agreed the interim decision on the higher-order issues of plan change 19 was more aptly labelled an ''interim interim decision'' and could require a further hearing.

Mr Soper indicated Foodstuffs would be appealing the plan change 19 decision.

The council has appealed only the hardware store's consent, while Queenstown Central Ltd - which owns land at the Frankton Flats - has appealed both consents.