Bunnings appeals decision

The battle for a Bunnings in Queenstown is headed to the Environment Court.

Bunnings Ltd has appealed a decision to decline consent for a store it proposed to build on the Frankton Flats, beside State Highway 6.

In appealing the entire decision, which was issued in March, Bunnings Ltd said the subject site was located within an area "in a dynamic state of development and urbanisation" where there was a variety of commercial, retail, and light industrial developments, either constructed, under construction, or recently consented.

Bunnings had identified the site on the Frankton Flats as the "ideal location" to enter the "booming Queenstown construction and trade supply market".

The new store would "increase competition between trade suppliers in the Queenstown market and lower the costs of construction, and therefore housing, along with other projects."

The company had worked extensively with the council before lodging a consent application and, as a result, made significant adjustments to the layout and design, the appeal notice said.

The company believed it had come up with "a coherent, consistent and appropriate development".

Bunnings Ltd said the commissioners erred in their decision.

The company said there were two key questions at issue during the two-day hearing - whether a Bunnings store would be an appropriate and compatible activity for the site and, if so, whether the effects on the environment were appropriately avoided, remedied or mitigated.

While a council officer had recommended consent be declined, citing, in part, adverse effects would be more than minor in relation to the loss of industrial-zoned land, urban design, visual and signage effects, commissioners held the effects on the district's industrial zoned land would be "minor only".

That view should be upheld, the appeal notice said.

A finding by commissioners the effects were more than minor and the development contrary to the objectives and policies in the district plan, however, "should be rejected".

Bunnings sought for the appeal to be allowed and the application granted, subject to conditions offered at the hearing, or such conditions the court considered appropriate and for "costs of and incidental to" the appeal.

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