Dublin Bay consent given; appeal possible

A building platform resource consent has been approved for a Dublin Bay property owned by Aucklander Ted Hewetson, the husband of celebrity chef Annabel Langbein, but an appeal is already being considered by the Upper Clutha Environmental Society.

The decision was released publicly yesterday by Queenstown Lakes District Council commissioners David Whitney and Leigh Overton.

Mr Hewetson's application identified a residential building platform on an 8.9ha sloping section above Dublin Bay.

Previously, consents were issued for a storage shed on the upper part of the section and a temporary cottage or barn on the lower part.

The residential building platform replaces the storage shed, which breached aspects of its consent.

An application to incorporate the existing shed into a dwelling was refused by the Environment Court in 2009.

Mr Hewetson's most recent application did not include house designs.

The newly consented residential building platform covers 462sq m.

The house would be 39m long, 4.2m high (two chimneys extend to 5.7m), clad with stacked schist stone and glazing would be restricted to 60% on the lakeside facade.

The commission noted it would be visible from several public viewpoints but would appear as part of an existing residential development node.

The commission agreed with Lakes Environmental landscape architect Dr Marion Read the residence could "at most have an equivalent adverse effect on openness when compared to the consented implement shed".

They agreed the lower height, the monopitched roof, the recessive materials and mitigation planting were likely to make the larger building appear less obtrusive, although the appearance of domestic activities would balance out the advantage.

The commission noted domestication elements usually associated with a dwelling already existed. They included a substantial, terraced vegetable garden near the shed and "activity associated with the filming of television programmes relating to free-range food production and cooking".

The main issue for the Upper Clutha Environmental Society, which opposed the application, was the effect of inappropriate development in an outstanding natural landscape.

"We are pondering what to do . . . we have an option to appeal," society secretary/treasurer Julian Haworth said when contacted yesterday.

"I don't think the decision is consistent with the district plan ... and will be taking legal advice on it this weekend."

Controls on development and additional buildings were imposed by the commissioners.

As soon as the house is built, the kitchen must be removed from the temporary cottage on the lower part of the site.

No further buildings are allowed, except for a shed on the temporary cottage site.

Mr Hewetson provided a statement to the Otago Daily Times earlier this month stating his wife had no proprietary interest in the property.

The property is used to film some of Ms Langbein's work.



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