Thiel appeals consent decision

United States billionaire Peter Thiel’s battle to get resource consent for a 330m-long luxury lodge overlooking Lake Wānaka will continue in the Environment Court in Queenstown on Monday.

Mr Thiel’s company Second Star Ltd appealed a 2022 decision by a Queenstown Lakes District Council independent resource consent panel that refused consent for the proposed lodge.

Subsequent court-ordered mediation between the parties proved unsuccessful.

The three-member panel, which included the district’s now mayor, Glyn Lewers, said in their decision the "large, very long building" would be too visible from the nearby Glendhu Bay public walking track, the 1165sq m lodge was inappropriately dominant in the outstanding natural landscape, and some design details lacked clarity .

Mr Thiel, a co-founder of financial technology company PayPal, gained New Zealand citizenship in 2011, despite having only spent 12 days in the country.

He bought the 193ha Damper Bay farm block for a reported $13.5 million in 2015.

The proposal is for a 330m-long, grass-roofed complex, comprising 10 guest accommodation units, a private owner’s residence, a 40sq m meditation building and a "back of house" building.

The hearing is expected to run all week.

 

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