Station owners seek consent to build house

The new owners of Ben Nevis Station have sought resource consent to build a new home on a site deemed to be an outstanding landscape.

The Central Otago District Council's hearings panel considered the matter last week and reserved its decision.

Philip and Moira Bramwell and Dorothy Schumack applied for consent to alter an existing building and construct two new ones for accommodation. The Nevis Valley site is designated in the district plan as an Outstanding Natural Landscape.

The station buildings were located about 1.5km south of Nevis Crossing and the proposal was to remove or demolish four in a cluster of buildings.

One of the buildings to be removed was believed to be an old dredgemaster's house and it had been shifted to its present position in 1994.

Council planning consultant David Whitney said the new buildings would be sited by a cluster of existing buildings associated with the former Ben Nevis Station.

In his view, they would not compromise the values of the outstanding natural landscape. They would appear part of the existing cluster and would be screened on one side by a shelterbelt of trees.

A micro hydro station on the farm provided power to the existing homestead.

Mr Whitney said minimal landscaping was planned and the effect on the amenity values of the other residents of the Nevis Valley would be ‘‘less than minor'' as the closest residence was 1.2km away.

He recommended consent be granted, subject to 23 conditions. The conditions covered the design and colour of the buildings, the water supply, the colour of the water tanks, water supply tests and wastewater disposal.

Heritage New Zealand had been consulted. An archaeological assessment revealed the buildings on the site were constructed after 1900 so an archaeological authority was not needed for any works, the panel was told.

One of the conditions proposed by Mr Whitney was to retain the old dredgemaster's house somewhere on the property. Resource management consultant Bridget Allen, appearing for the applicants, said the intention was to retain the building but move it to a different part of the site.

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