Council slammed over skyline breaches

John Lane
John Lane
A Lowburn man says the Central Otago District Council has been ''weak'' in allowing developments to breach the skyline of the area.

At a CODC hearings panel this week, Donald Young, of Lowburn, said it ''needed to stick with the laws which protected the area's landscapes''.

He supplied the panel with several photos he took of new buildings in the area which breached the skyline.

''It upsets me that we've come to this. The last three years have seen a slackening of control and I believe the planning department have lost the plot and are not interested in the landscape values that I think are so important to this unique area.''

Skyline breaches are restricted activity in the district plan, which means they can be allowed by the panel, but it will often impose conditions to limit the impact on the landscape.

The comments were made at a hearing of an application by Mr Young's neighbour Merv Shaw, who wants to subdivide his 17ha property into three lots.

The application received four submissions, all from neighbours who opposed the project due to concerns regarding skyline breaches and water management.

A building platform on one of the lots was moved from its original location to minimise the chances of a skyline breach.

Mr Young was concerned about another lot which had no building platform, as placing a structure on the only logical location there would breach the skyline, he said. This would require a further resource consent.

Panel chairman John Lane said he empathised with Mr Young's position.

''This council is very conscious of skyline breaches and has done what it can to mitigate the effects of such breaches.''

He was not familiar with the consents of the properties in the photos supplied by Mr Young and could therefore not comment, he said.

The panel reserved its decision.


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