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Court Backs Council Over Duck Creek Contributions


Court Backs Council Over Duck Creek Contributions

Council’s stand over recreation and civic contributions associated with the future development of Duck Creek was vindicated by the Environment Court this week.

Whitby Coastal Estates Ltd applied to Council for resource consent to develop a 21 lot subdivision, part of which included land on what was formerly the Duck Creek Golf Course.

Commissioners appointed by the Council heard submissions on the application earlier this year and subsequently granted consent for the development subject to conditions. One of those conditions required WCEL to pay a recreation and civic contribution to Council of 50% of the maximum contribution payable for each new lot created.

WCEL appealed to the Environment Court arguing that they had already made a significant contribution to the community over the history of the Whitby development and that the total reserve area in Whitby was greater than any statutory maximum which Council could have imposed.

The Environment Court, however, found differently, said Gary Simpson, General Manager Leisure and Recreation at Council.

“It is clear the court found Council’s stance was fair and reasonable and that the development of the golf course had not been anticipated and that its development would reduce the recreation amenities of Whitby.

“The court has also made clear that a recreation and civic contribution should be paid on each new lot created in recognition of the increase in demand that the previously unanticipated development would generate.”

The judgement was especially important as it clarified expectations for the rest of the development which may extend eventually to more than 300 lots.

Mr Simpson said there were a number of issues arising out of the Environment Court judgement that would have to be worked through. He was not, therefore, in a position to comment further.


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