Council to recover $420,000 from land sale

The Dunedin City Council will recoup $420,000 from a land sale that helped settle a dispute with Dunedin city councillor Doug Hall.

The council, responding to an official information request from the Otago Daily Times, this week confirmed the sum, which staff said was due to be received at the end of April.

The money came from the sale of a 2574sq m section of council-owned land beside State Highway 88 to Dunedin Holdings Ltd, an agent acting for Lion, which owns Emerson's Brewery.

The sale was part of a wider deal that also saw Cr Hall agree to sell his own property beside SH88 to Lion for $4.5 million.

Together, the sales would pave the way for a new Emerson's Brewery to be built on the site, but also helped resolve a long-running dispute between Cr Hall and the council over the realignment of SH88.

Council city property manager Kevin Taylor said the $420,000 sale price was considered market value, based on valuations obtained by both parties.

Council group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said the money was due to be received upon settlement at the end of April.

The proceeds would be used to repay council debt, in line with existing council policy, he said.

Cr Hall has threatened to pursue the council for compensation, claiming he is still about $700,000 out of pocket from legal and other bills arising from the SH88 dispute.

That was despite the Environment Court ruling against him on costs in January, when it concluded there was ''no real merit in the argument the council should pay costs''.

Cr Hall was reluctant to comment yesterday, saying only he was still discussing options with his lawyers.

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