Three Kings dis­pute deep­ens

Central Leader - - MILESTONES - HUGH COLLINS

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.’’

Visit cen­tral­leader.co.nz for more of the story.

FAIR­FAX NZ

Con­struc­tion has been on­go­ing de­spite the dis­pute.

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