Subdivision denied; appeal considered

The owners of Lake Hawea’s Glen Dene Station are "very disappointed" they were declined resource consent to subdivide and are considering an appeal.

Richard Burdon and his wife Sarah had applied to create a two-lot subdivision, one of which would contain the existing homestead and the other a new residential building .

Glen Dene Station is between the lake and State Highway 6, 4km north of the turnoff to Lake Hawea township.

The new house would have been sited in an area of outstanding natural landscape, and probably visible from some places on the lake and the Te Araroa Track.

In their judgement, commissioners Robert Nixon and Wendy Baker said their primary concern if they had granted consent was the potential for setting a precedent.

"We consider there is good cause to assume that there is potentially high demand for residential properties on the margins of lakes in this district, particularly where sites are readily accessible by road, as is the case here.

"Given this context we consider particular care needs to be exercised when contemplating the consequences of a grant of consent on a lakeside site in the rural zone within an outstanding natural landscape."

"We have given careful consideration to this application, and acknowledge that it has some commendable features, particularly if considered in isolation.

"However, although finely balanced, we have come to the conclusion that a grant of consent would have more than minor effects on the environment and that a grant of consent would have significant potential to create a precedent and undermine confidence in the integrity of the Proposed District Plan," the commissioners concluded.

The Upper Clutha Environmental Society was one of two submitters who opposed the application.

Secretary Julian Haworth said the society was delighted with the decision.

"Under the new plan, development in an outstanding natural landscape has to be ‘reasonably difficult to see’.

"The society fought for this criteria to be included in the district plan where previously it only applied in the Wakatipu," Mr Haworth said.

Mr Burdon said he believed the application met a lot of the standards on environmental and minor impacts.

"We were gobsmacked when we were supported by the council planners yet the commissioners did not find in our favour."

"We believe the commissioners made a few mistakes with some issues and we are certainly looking into an appeal to the Environment court," Mr Burdon said.

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