Outram residents upset at feud

CARMEN HOULAHAN IN DUNEDIN
Last updated 11:30 23/01/2013

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Outram residents upset by an ongoing feud between Grandview Gardens wedding venue and some of its neighbours have started a petition to show support for the owners.

Grandview owners Jo and Wayne Lindsay  applied to the Dunedin City Council  about a year ago to have their resource consent changed to allow cleaning staff to work late at the venue, after they unintentionally went over a midnight curfew, and to increase the number of events permitted.

However, upset neighbours have fought the move, and an Environment Court hearing is pending. The dispute has cost the Lindsays almost $80,000 so far.

Issues raised by neighbours in their submissions included concerns about noise, dust on the gravel road from traffic, breaches of the existing consent and the effects of more events on the rural area.

D Scene approached Outram businesses about the petition. All spoken to were afraid to be named for fear of upsetting submitters.

One said the petition was at their business and many people had supported Grandview Gardens, and the work the owners were doing, by signing it.

However, the business had been threatened with legal action if it did not remove the petition.

Another business owner said they were going to have the petition but were also threatened with legal action. 

All businesses spoken to said they supported  Grandview Gardens.

''They [Jo and Wayne Lindsay] work really hard and do a great job. They bring a lot of business into this community. I don't know why the submitters are doing this,'' one said.

Another said he absolutely supported the Grandview Gardens.

''It is fantastic. I think it is a great thing. A lot of good has come out of it. But when you are working with the public like I do I cannot take sides.''

Jo Lindsay said something that started as a simple change to their consent had now got out of hand. They were being intimidated and people seen to be supporting them were getting threats.

''I really regret it ever started.  It is tireless and it is annoying. We are bringing a lot of business into this community. One of the weddings in the last four weeks was a local one,'' she said.

 ''There is a petition going around with local people saying 'you guys need support'. I feel good about the support, we feel very happy about that.''

The couple have appealed the council's latest decision to the Environment Court.

D Scene contacted Greg Gray, a submitter who had raised concerns about the venue. He declined to comment but said he believed the petition had been withdrawn.

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Submitter Karen Warring said people signing the petition were unaware of the negative impacts of the venue unless they were a neighbour.

She declined to comment further.

- D Scene

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