Environmental Society Drops Legal Appeal Against Proposed District Plan
Following on from discussions about Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC)’s Proposed District Plan (PDP), the Upper Clutha Environmental Society lodged an appeal to the High Court in February that opposed the Environment Court’s interim findings on how the PDP would manage landscapes in the Upper Clutha Basin.
The Society's key concern was that the Environment Court did not grant its request that QLDC undertake a landscape and land use planning study of the entire Upper Clutha Basin. The Society contended that the findings of the study would inform amendments to the PDP, by way of schedules and potential changes to rules around subdivisions and rural living developments (similar to that undertaken by QLDC for the Wakatipu Basin in 2017).
The Environment Court decided only priority areas of the Upper Clutha Basin should be identified and added to the PDP through future plan changes.
However, QLDC has subsequently confirmed it will undertake a landscape study of the entire Upper Clutha Basin.
The findings of the study will be used to inform future changes to the PDP. This will involve adding descriptions of those landscapes to the rural provisions and, potentially, changes to rules associated with subdivisions and rural living developments.
While QLDC accepted the Environment Court’s findings to identify only priority areas of the Upper Clutha Basin and include them in the PDP, it accepts that ongoing management of the Upper Clutha Basin’s special landscapes would benefit from a study that assesses the entire area.
As a consequence of QLDC confirming it will undertake a landscape study of the entire Upper Clutha Basin, the Society has withdrawn its High Court appeal. QLDC acknowledges the Society’s commitment to these issues and appreciates the way it has worked with Council.