River Terrace Development, owned by Winton, has appealed Central Otago District Council’s decision to decline Plan Change 13 for the River Terrace development in Cromwell.
Chris Meehan, Winton CEO, said, “Cromwell desperately needs more quality and affordable housing, a view shared publicly by the Southern District Health Board and the local mayor, Tim Cadogan. Plan Change 13 is the only practical opportunity in the short and medium-term to build significantly more high-quality and affordable housing in Cromwell.”
Maria de Cort, communications coordinator for CODC said, “Council has been served a notice of an appeal by River Terrace Developments Limited in respect of the decision on Plan Change 13. At this early stage Council’s planning and legal advisors have not analyzed the appeal. We will be working through this in the coming weeks. The Council commits to defending the decision and will follow the Environment Court appeal process. The Resource Management Act 1991 provides for those parties who submitted on the original plan change to participate in the appeal proceedings.”
The $400k cost of the original plan change hearing has been under heated debate with Winton refusing to pay the full amount. Communication manager for Winton, Sonya Finmore said, “The cost objection was heard last week, and an outcome from the Central Otago District Council is forthcoming. Winton has paid the non-objected costs of $193,634.85 to the Council, and $69,000 (including GST) continues to be held in Trust.”
The Wānaka Sun asked whether the appeal could be delayed until the costs had been paid however David Campbell, Planning Manager for CODC said, “The majority of their outstanding costs have been paid and their objection to the costs is being considered by an independent commissioner. Council does not process an appeal, this sits with the Environment Court, so Council cannot refuse to process the appeal.”
While some Central Otago ratepayers could find it unfair that an appeal hearing could go through before their bill is paid, Campbell said, “The applicant is exercising their rights of appeal and rights to object to the costs of processing their plan change request. Both will be considered on their merits by the Environment Court and an independent commissioner respectively.”