Sugarloaf developer seeks amendment to consent

A significant Central Otago landmark near Lowburn is once again the subject of a resource consent application.

Minaret Resources Ltd, a group of investors, has applied to the Central Otago District Council to change conditions of an already granted consent - to change building platformshapes and to remove controls over roof pitch - for a subdivision it intends to build on the Lowburn Valley floor and parts of the Lowburn Terraces, known as Sugarloaf.

Its application says the change to the building platforms ''represent only minor tweaking to provide a more practical building site'' The shape of the building platforms on four of the lots made it difficult to design a house, making the lots unmarketable, it said.

It is also seeking the removal of roof pitch controls on the platforms'' on three of those plots. It claimed the combination of roof pitch (28-40 degrees) and height controls (5.5m), plus the requirement of 1m eaves on those lots meant houses of widths only 4.6m to 8.5m would be possible.

It proposed to delete the requirement for roof pitch and eaves, but to retain the height restrictions. The Dunedin-based company first applied to subdivide and build on and by the landform known as Sugarloaf almost a decade ago.

It had applied for consent to subdivide land and create 28 allotments and for land-use consent to build houses on 12 newly created allotments on the Sugarloaf hill overlooking Lowburn inlet. Public notification of that application drew 169 submissions, with 15 in support.

Consent was declined by independent commissioner Michael Parker and mediation in the Environment Court followed.

After the proposal was scaled down, Mr Parker granted consent to build 14 houses in 2006. Following an appeal, the court, upheld Mr Parker's ruling. On that occasions, 27 submissions were received and 22 were opposed. The granted consent confined building to the Lowburn Valley, floor to keep the Sugarloaf hill free of development.

Two of the 17 plots were to be vested as reserves and one as road.

Two of the lots on which houses were to be built have since been sold.

Other changes requested in the new application, such as removal or modification of controls of colour and cladding, were intended to make things simpler, due to changes of the Central Otago District Plan since the consent was granted.

Those changes caused duplication or conflict with the consent, the new application said.

The application is open for public submissions until 4pm on Friday, March 1.

An application for resource consent to subdivide and build in the same area was lodged late last year by Seaview Farm Trust. That application attracted 28 submissions, mostly in opposition. Shortly before it was due to be considered by the Central Otago District Council hearings panel, it was pulled from the agenda and put on hold, due to the nature of the submissions. It is unclear when it would come before the panel again.

- sarah.marquet@odt.co.nz