Harbour hole-in-one challenge now seems likely

A hole-in-one golf challenge proposal for Otago harbour is again on target as differences with neighbours are ironed out.

However, an appeal against the idea may not yet have been formally dropped.

In May the Dunedin City and Otago Regional Councils granted Dunedin businessman Peter Graham consent to use a small reserve south of the Vauxhall Yacht Club for his venture involving a golf challenge, kayak and bicycle hire, and coffee and food van.

A group called the Otago Harbour Preservation Society lodged an appeal against the consent with the Environment Court in June.

A regional council report released yesterday said the applicant and appellant corresponded before formal mediation and "reached agreement".

They were preparing a consents order for the Environment Court to grant, it said.

Mr Graham said differences  with the group had been smoothed and the Environment Court case was dropped.

"It’s all been resolved."

There were some "minor tweaks" made to the proposal, but mostly correspondence just involved clarifying his intentions, he said.

"There is more understanding now."

The proposal was back on track, with "a little bit more money spent" than he intended, he said.

"It’ll be good to have something a bit different in that area."

The intention to have the operation running this summer would be "really hard" because of delays, he said.

There were no hard feelings with the group as the system was there for people to appeal consents, he said.

The Otago Harbour Preservation Society initially said some businesses and residents close to the proposed area were concerned about the impact the attraction would have on the harbour environment and the restrictions it would place on the use of the area.

The main appellant, Johnny van Leeuwen, was away yesterday and could not be contacted. Member of the group Craig Latta said the mediation’s outcome was uncertain as the lawyer involved was on leave, but  the appeal could be  dropped.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz

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