QLDC declines option on land

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has decided it does not wish to buy a plot of land tagged for museum use at Wanaka Airport, although it will still have the option in future.

The council has a historic right of first refusal on the land, the only piece of freehold land within the airport.

Councillors considered the investment possibility at an emergency meeting yesterday.

In 2001, the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum trust bought the large Alpine Fighter Collection Hangar and began redevelopment of the building for a new museum.

At the same time, the land under the museum was freeholded to the museum (tagged for museum use only) in return for land adjacent to the runway.

Council chief executive Mike Theelen said under the land’s current terms of ownership, the council had to exercise its right of refusal within a fixed timeframe.

"While today’s decision means council has elected not to exercise its right to acquire the lot at this time, council’s right of first refusal remains and could be exercised if the land becomes available again."

The public was excluded because of commercial sensitivity.

A council spokesman said why the council declined the offer was confidential.

marjorie.cook@odt.co.nz

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