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There is an ''absolute confrontation between the developers and planners'' regarding the Pak'n Save and Mitre 10 Mega projects for the Frankton Flats, Justice John Fogarty said yesterday, and he must decide whether the granting of consent for both proposals was justified.
During the High Court hearing held at the Queenstown District Court yesterday, Justice Fogarty heard the opening submissions for Queenstown Central Ltd, which includeda history of Frankton's zoning.
Queenstown Central's counsel, James Gardner-Hopkins, argued the Environment Court proceeded ''early on'' as if Queenstown Central - owner of adjoining land - was a trade competitor of Shotover Park Ltd, which owns the land where the Pak'n Save.and Mitre 10 developments are planned.
As well as that wrongful assumption, it was also erroneous of the court to grant consent ahead of the Plan Change 19 decision, Mr Gardner-Hopkins said.
Justice Fogarty acknowledged he must also decide whether the Environment Court was wrong to essentially allow ''developers to proceed ahead of the planners'' before the resolution of the plan change, which seeks to change the zoning of the Frankton Flats.
Consent for the proposals was granted last July and August, following an Environment Court hearing in May.
The Mitre 10 Mega consent is being appealed by Queenstown Lakes District Council and both consents are being appealed by Queenstown Central Ltd.
Mr Gardner-Hopkins said the assumption Queenstown Central was a trade competitor of Shotover Park Ltd stemmed from a connection between his client and Queenstown Gateway Ltd.
The two were not sister companies and Queenstown Gateway did not have any shares in Queenstown Central. They only shared the same property manager, Redwood, Mr Gardner-Hopkins said.
Queenstown Gateway is proposing a shopping complex including a Countdown supermarket and it was perceived that Queenstown Central was arguing against the Pak'n Save development because of Queenstown Gateway's proposal.
Mr Gardner-Hopkins said Queenstown Central could stand to benefit from having two ''supermarket anchors'' on either side of its land.
''QCL is not in the market for a supermarket, so how can it be a trade competitor?'' Mr Gardner-Hopkins asked. Queenstown Central was ''not intending to sell or lease their land for a supermarket''.
The hearing continues today and could run for the rest of this week.