Council appealing court decision

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Southland District Council has decided to appeal the Environment Court’s decision to uphold Fish and Game Southland’s appeal against the consent to build the section of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail in the Oreti River area.

Council chief executive Steve Ruru said an extraordinary Council meeting was held last week and councillors voted for the appeal because the Environment Court decision was bigger than just the cycle trail issue.

“The approach adopted by the court in assessing the application is very significant, particularly around the way we process consents as a regulatory agency and the implications for us as an infrastructure provider. In this regard the decision places a focus on the District Plan rather than allowing for a broad overall assessment, which is currently allowed for in the Resource Management Plan and has traditionally been used by consenting authorities,” Mr Ruru said.

The appeal has been lodged today, but Council will be talking to Fish and Game about the issues and options to see if a way forward could be agreed on.

Council had only until today to lodge the appeal and doing so gave it some more time for negotiations and legal investigations, Mr Ruru said.

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