Three Kings dispute deepens
The Three Kings Quarry rigmarole is now likely to see two, if not three, independent court cases.
A meeting was hosted by Greg McKeown of Three Kings Community Action on September 13 to inform the community of the current status of the quarry dispute.
He says the meeting saw a ‘‘continued resolve’’ to oppose the Fletcher Construction housing development plan as it has now been installed into the Auckland Council Unitary Plan.
On September 8 McKeown said that council has done this without considering decisions from an Environment Court interim ruling at the end of July.
It was then a 10-day court hearing put Fletcher on the back foot over plans to develop a $1.2 billion housing estate on the site.
The ruling outlined 13 issues Fletcher must address before continuing construction with its original plan. This included land contouring, protection of volcanic features, building form issues and minimum dwelling sizes.
The September 13 meeting occurred as a result of the impending closure of appeals for the Auckland Unitary Plan on September 16.
McKeown says now either the South Epsom Planning Group or Three Kings United Group will lodge an appeal to the Environment Court, the High Court or both.
This is set to occur on top of the present Environment Court case from July which will continue on September 26.
‘‘Just because it’s in the Environment Court doesn’t mean it’s a combined case, we’ll end up with two cases … that’s how this thing has really got out of control,’’ McKeown says.
‘‘It’s ridiculous that a community group is left with the prospect of having to go to the Environment Court again, or the High Court, to recontest issues that have already been processed through a 10 day hearing of the Environment Court.’’
The fundamental situation that came out of the September 13 meeting is that the community doesn’t want to lose ground already made by the interim decision of the Environment Court, he says.
Fletcher Building housing chief operating officer Steve Evans says the judge at the Environment Court issued an interim ruling asking for all parties to respond and collaborate further.
‘‘There are elements of this interim decision which we agree with and will take forward.’’
He says Fletcher does not intend to completely disregard the interim decision. ’’In fact throughout all the different stages of our design process and the council’s consenting process to date, Fletcher has been open to amending its plans to result in a better outcome for Auckland.’’
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Construction has been ongoing despite the dispute.