Resource consent for two residential building platforms
at Lowburn should not be refused because of some ''vague
community expectation'' the sites could only be used for a
hotel and travellers' accommodation, a hearings panel was told
Waterline Lowburn Ltd has applied to the Central Otago
District Council for land-use consent for two building
platforms that breach four planning rules - dwelling
separation, minimum yard, maximum height and protruding on to
a skyline. The sites are at the intersection of State Highway
6 and the Lowburn Valley Rd.
The council's hearings panel has reserved its decision. Four
submissions were received. Lowburn resident Roger de Grauw,
the Lowburn Community Action Group and Sugarloaf Cherries Ltd
were opposed to the application and Land Information New
Zealand took a neutral stance.
Speaking for the applicant, Paterson Pitts director Peter
Dymock said the company held four resource consents for the
site. Three allowed it to build and operate a restaurant and
bar and build apartments, but those consents had not been
actioned and would lapse later this year. The fourth consent
involved subdivision of land, which was the subject of the
application. Mr Dymock said Waterline wanted consent for the
building platforms so they could be marketed as residential
''The submitters appear to be under the mistaken impression
that these sites are zoned only for a hotel and travellers'
The scheduled activity of ''hotel and travellers'
accommodation'' was overlaid on top of the rural residential
zoning of the site. Hotel and travellers' accommodation was a
permitted activity but the zoning of the site remained rural
residential, which meant there was no ''compulsion'' for an
owner to proceed with the option of a hotel or accommodation,
''It would be completely inequitable for council to refuse
consent to this application on the ground of some vague
community expectation that the sites can only be used for a
hotel and travellers' accommodation.''
Panel chairman John Lane said the original intention of the
site owner was to provide the community with a hotel to
replace the old Lowburn Hotel which was demolished when Lake
Dunstan was formed and the area flooded as part of the Clyde
dam development. Consents were granted for that activity.
''I have difficulty in seeing two residential units would be
more intrusive than what they can do, as of right, there
now,'' he said. The Lowburn action group said there was an
''understanding'' the site was zoned for a replacement of the
Lowburn Hotel. The proposal would have significant adverse
effects on the environment and detract from the amenity
values of the Lowburn inlet, spokesman Martin Anderson said.
The group has about 45 members. Mr de Grauw said the site was
specifically designated for a tavern.
''The applicants purchased a very particular piece of land
set aside for a specific use. That they have chosen to do
nothing with it is their business, but they should not be
rewarded for that inaction by being allowed to carve ever
larger holes out of the district plan,'' he said.
The council's planning consultant, David Whitney, recommended
the council should grant consent, subject to 18 conditions.