Pair finally land boutique Bluff hotel

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 10:43 17/01/2014
Simon and James Cavanagh
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
Simon and James Cavanagh sit in the bistro of the refurbished Land’s End Boutique Hotel.

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After selling furniture and furnishings and planning to fly home to Australia, finally James and Simon Cavanagh are officially the owners of the Lands End Boutique Hotel.

The pair put a conditional offer on the Bluff hotel in November and began renovating and redecorating the property on the understanding owners Rob and Mary McIntosh would complete the outstanding building consents required.

However, as the weeks went by, the pair's future in the south became uncertain and they became frustrated with the Invercargill City Council, which they said had hindered their ability to trade during the busiest season of the year.

However, just hours before the sale was due to fall over because the McIntoshes had been unable to get the consents they required from the council for the sale, they managed to secure the final building consents.

James Cavanagh said he was extremely happy about the sale.

It was their dream property and it was a relief they did not have to walk away from it, he said.

"Thanks to the Invercargill City Council, who came to the party in the end."

The couple still have consents to complete but have a certificate of public use for the next three months until they manage to secure the consents.

They were busy assembling beds last night, ready to open the hotel on Monday.

The news meant six Bluff residents would keep their jobs at the establishment, he said.

"We are just excited now we can actually start our business."

James said the pair no longer wished to sue the council but were hoping to recoup some of the $10,000 they lost because of the delays from the previous owners, who had had years to complete the consents, he said.

The Cavanaghs had learned a valuable lesson from the ordeal and that was to always dig deep and "keep your eyes wide open" when buying a property, he said.

But for now they were looking forward to living in Bluff for the foreseeable future, he said.

"We can pursue our dream of having a boutique hotel."

City council chief executive Richard King said the outcome was great for tourism in Bluff.

However, it was a lesson for others always to ensure they knew their rights and responsibilities when buying a property, he said.

City council building regulations manager Simon Tonkin said his team had to visit the property more than 10 times to sign off the completion of consents.

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- The Southland Times

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