BMX park decision supported

23:30, Nov 13 2012

A lawyer has found the Cromwell Community Board did nothing wrong while considering allowing a BMX park to be built on a recreational reserve after a community group challenged the integrity of proceedings in making the decision.

A report by Central Otago District Council property management officer Brain Taylor, which will be presented to the board on Monday, includes findings from legal advice sought by the board.

The request for advice followed concerns that were raised by the Neplusultra Reserve Residents Association.

On May 7, the board decided it would recommend "in principle" that the Cromwell Bike Park Incorporated could build a BMX track on the Neplusultra Recreation Reserve subject to conditions, including an amended concept plan - making the park smaller than suggested to fit inside a 30m-wide landscape margin - and that the plan was first publicly notified.

Following it being publicly notified, six submissions were received, five against and one in support of the BMX track.

On June 28, another report by Mr Taylor was considered by the board.

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The report recommended, taking into consideration what submitters said, that the board grant a lease of part of the reserve to allow for the track as any issues raised by submitters could be alleviated by the scaled-down proposal.

However, at that meeting a representative for Stratum Environmental Law, acting as counsel for the residents association, challenged the integrity of the proceeding up to that point.

They claimed the procedural process followed by council did not accord with requirements of the Local Government Act 2002, or council's delegations register.

It was then the board decided to seek its own advice.

After investigating, lawyer Graeme Todd said in his opinion nothing was done in the reporting or decision making process that was unlawful.

The board will consider receiving the legal advice and allowing the lease on Monday.

The Southland Times