Douglas fir consent given

Consent has been granted for 50ha of Douglas fir to be planted on the Lammermoor Range in an area classified as an outstanding natural landscape.

The Central Otago District Council has decided the proposal by John Elliot, of Lammermoor Station, is not an "inappropriate development" given the terrain of the site, the distance from any public place and the wilding control measures to be that will be put in place.

Mr Elliot told the hearings panel earlier this month the trees would be planted in a secluded valley on his property. The block would be planted under the afforestation grant scheme, for timber and carbon credits under the emissions trading scheme.

Ridges to the east of the plantation would obscure views of it from vantage points such as Old Dunstan Rd.

Consent was granted by the council last year for a separate block of 40ha of Douglas fir to be planted in a different location on the farm.

Establishing a woodlot, forestry or shelter belts on a outstanding natural landscape is a discretionary activity under the district plan.

Most conditions of the consent focus on wilding control.

"... the council considers that any effects in terms of the propensity for wilding spread can be avoided or mitigated through the implementation of the wilding control management plan presented by the applicant," the council said in its decision.

Two rows of ponderosa pine have to be planted around the perimeter of the plantation to act as a seed trap and wilding plants have to be removed every five years, starting when the trees are 15 years old. The wilding removal has to continue for 10 years after the plantation is harvested.

• The Northburn Wine Company has been given a 10-year consent for a winery building platform within the Northburn landslip area.

Geotechnical reports said there was no evidence of stability issues on the site, so the council decided any risk could be avoided or mitigated as part of the investigations at building consent stage.

The winery will cater for up to 300 tonnes of grapes.


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