Pylon dispute grinds on

Appeal set to drag out case

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 14:21 25/02/2013

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A High Court demand that Transpower seek new resource consents for Valley Rd and Waikanae pylon upgrades is on hold while the agency appeals the decision.

The stay issued by Justice Joseph Williams on Thursday was the latest in a 10-year battle over the pylons.

In November Justice Williams gave Transpower three months to lodge consent applications that would make the Waikanae and southern reconductoring projects compliant.

The decision quashed seven consents issued by Kapiti Coast District Council for the work.

However the community group that brought the case against the council and Transpower - the Kapiti High Voltage Coalition - appealed aspects of the decision.

Transpower also appealed aspects of the decision and challenged the deadline for the new consent applications.

On Thursday Justice Williams said he was satisfied that a stay of the three-month order "pending disposal of the appeal" is appropriate.

He said it was true the appeal from Transpower was lodged relatively late - last Monday - "but there is no doubt that the cross-appeal is both arguable and bona fide".

The decision is the latest in a 10-year battle between residents and Transpower after Transpower carried out work on the Mangahao Paekakariki A and B lines along the road, and Waikanae.

The coalition of residents was seeking to quash council resource consents for the work and seek declarations that Transpower trespassed on members' properties when work was done.

Last week Kapiti Coast District councillor K Gurunathan praised the residents for gaining the November decision.

"I congratulate the local residents who had been fighting Transpower since 2003 and finally forming the KHVC group in 2007 to initiate a judicial review in the High Court."

The November decision highlighted problems with the council consenting process, and Transpower's perceived "bully boy" approach to residents, he said.

Transpower would not comment with the case under appeal.

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- Kapiti Observer

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