Environment Court decision halts Bull Creek development

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 05:00 04/03/2014

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A batch of Otago crib owners have won a battle to prevent a lifestyle development on land next to their historic coastal settlement.

Bull Creek cribbies have been kicking up about a proposed development next to their 150-year-old settlement near Milton for several years - dealing with two developers whose plans have now both been quashed.

In an interim 27-page decision the Environment Court reversed a 2012 Clutha District Council (CDC) consent allowing Moyvane Sea View's 10-lot lifestyle subdivision.

A previous developer had also failed to get the subdivision off the ground.

The site is split into a Rural Resource Area at the landward end and a Coastal Resource Area, under the council's district plan.

In refusing consent to Moyvane Sea View, the court considered at length the potential and actual environmental effects of the proposal in relation to the New Zealand coastal policy statement and CDC district plan objectives for its coastal resource area.

The Moanariri Crib Owners Association - the Bull Creek cribbies - said the Moyvane development threatened the uniqueness of their settlement, the naturalness and remoteness of the nearby Akatore Coast, and the public's ability to access and enjoy it.

Akatore farmer Michael Hurley supported the crib owners, filing the appeal in the Environment Court last year.

Moyvane Sea View Ltd, owned by Gore couple Peter and Cathryn O'Connor, argued it had consulted widely with the community and had mitigated opponents' concerns by incorporating native plantings and fencing in its plan, and reconfiguring its site plan.

Moyvane believed the subdivision to be "sensitively designed" - the proposal was a low-impact community that protected areas of natural open space and recreation value to the Bull Creek community.

Mr Hurley's lawyer, Chris Thomsen, said his client was "naturally pleased" with the outcome, believing it to be fair and just.

Peter O'Connor said yesterday the decision disappointed him and his wife.

"But I guess we just have to take it and move on." 

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