After an announcement that Central Otago District Council would not announce their decision on Winton’s Riverside Terrace development due to the unpaid bill in relation to Plan Change 13, Winton has now filed a formal objection.
The Council has advised River Terrace that they will also need to request an extension of time to lodge the objection as it has been received outside of the 15 working-day period specified in the Act.
River Terrace has advised that the balance of unpaid charges have been deposited with its lawyers by way of security for payment.
CODC said, “The Council has sought to formalise this arrangement. It has requested an appropriate legal undertaking with respect to the holding of those funds and conditions for their release and payment upon the objection to fees being determined. The Council is awaiting confirmation from River Terrace that an undertaking on these terms will be given. On receipt of the undertaking the decision will be released.”
The Wānaka Sun asked CODC for a breakdown of the charges or an indication of what is a standard cost for processing a plan change and whether $400,000 should have been anticipated by Winton.
Louise van der Voort, executive manager – planning and environment replied, “The breakdown of costs is a matter between the applicant and Council and is also subject to an objection, so is unable to be disclosed. We can say that the majority of costs relate to commissioner and consultant planner costs. The plan change attracted a lot of public interest and required almost two weeks to be heard, hence costs are substantially higher than other plan changes we have processed in the past. The quality planning guidance from 2013 notes the following on costs: ‘costs range from a minimum of $10,000 to $1million for large-scale developments. Average costs are around $30,000 to $50,000 for a rural residential subdivision with minimal opposition’.”
Winton’s Northlake Investments Ltd is currently facing a high court battle against Wānaka Community Supporting our Northlake Neighbours Inc in relation to the restrictive no-objection clauses on their covenants. They are also currently awaiting a decision for another high court case that they brought against Wānaka Medical Centre. They are also suing both Crux and Otago Daily Times for defamation.