Neighbours slam consent for ex-councillor

HANNAH MCLEOD
Last updated 15:18 14/04/2014
Southland Times photo
BARRY HARCOURT/Fairfax NZ

Te Anau property owners Doug and Diane Ridley during a resource consent hearing for their application to subdivide and build on their land, which was contested by their neighbours last month.

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A former Southland District councillor who applied to subdivide her Te Anau property has been granted resource consent, despite neighbours saying the proposal is in "blatant conflict" with the District Plan.

Diane Ridley, who was a district councillor for 18 years and chairwoman of the council's resource management committee for five years, was granted consent to subdivide her property and build a platform for a future dwelling near the town.

A hearing was held in Te Anau last month, with an independent commissioner because of Ridley's former council roles.

Ridley's neighbours, David and Harriet Hamilton, opposed the application, because they had concerns about visibility of a new dwelling from public spaces, noise, and privacy.

The proposed subdivision and building platform the Ridleys had applied for would breach a 150-metre separation rule in the District Plan, which would be in "blatant conflict" with the plan, the Hamiltons' submission says.

The Hamiltons breached the 150m rule in 2008 when they built a cottage on the boundary of their property. In their submission, the Hamiltons say their breach was minor compared to the Ridleys' proposal.

The decision from independent hearing commissioner Allan Cubitt, received by the Southland Times, says the proposal "does not offend" the policies of the District Plan.

"[The proposal] does not generate adverse effects that are any more than minor. On that basis I do not find that an undesirable precedent would be created." 

 

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