Costs may deter group from appeal

The risk of being landed with heavy legal costs may stop a community group from appealing the proposed Shotover Country development.

Protect Queenstown was formed this week opposing the Queenstown Lakes District Council's decision to approve the 750-home development between the Shotover River and Lake Hayes Estate.

Spokesperson Sheena Haywood said it comprised about 12 neighbouring residents who had concerns about the $300 million development and wished to "raise awareness" with the rest of the community.

"I don't think there has been enough information going around about this [development] and people don't know," she said.

"If people did realise, there would be an outcry."

Mrs Haywood said Protect Queenstown was unlikely to put in an appeal because the court costs would be too great if it was unsuccessful.

"It is tricky because if you lose, you face paying all of the court case. The system is quite flawed." The group was surprised the development plan had got this far.

The group's main concern with the development was the lack of demand for such housing in the area and the physical appearance of the "giant block" of building development.

"None of us are against progress or development. If there was demand then Jack's Point would be filled out," Mrs Haywood said.

"If development happens at a natural progression of supply and demand, then we would be able to cope with it."

She said the plans she was shown at the committee meeting in March had three-storeyed houses "jammed" together.

"What is this place going to look like? It is straight out of downtown Auckland. We are not on the Auckland waterfront here.

"Once it is carved up, it is carved up for good."

Commissioner for the Shotover Country hearing, Queenstown Lakes Cr Leigh Overton, said a group such as Protect Queenstown would have had to have made an original appeal to have input on the matter or attach itself to someone who had.

"Unless you are involved in the process, you can't have an impact," Cr Overton said.

The 30-day window for appeals was open until the second week of December and, so far, none have been lodged in relation to the 120ha development.


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