Glenorchy camp dream almost a reality


Glenorchy’s controversial new campground has all but got the green light.

The last hurdle was an Environment Court appeal against the – which has been resolved.

Judge Jon Jackson was set to hear an appeal yesterday by Glenorchy resident Nikki Gladding against the proposal by American philanthropists Paul and Debbi Brainerd.

But lawyer Mike Holm, on behalf of the wealthy couple, started the hearing with a settlement offer.

Holm suggested deleting landscaping conditions and consulting with the council, Gladding and the community to finalise a concept plan.

Holm told Jackson the Brainerds were prepared to compromise on a building setback - suggeting 2m from the edge of a reserve for five cabins.

Jackson told Gladding she was “pushing it uphill”.

The judge said he was prepared to hear arguments over the setback but warned Gladding - who represented herself - the matter was “a bit skewed against you”.

“It’s not fatally skewed against you [but] it’s an expert evidence matter.”

After an adjournment, Gladding told Jackson she was going to take the offer.

The Brainerds’ plan to establish the multi-million dollar development - billed as New Zealand’s greenest campground - on a 3ha site next to conservation land. It’ll cater for up to 140 guests in cabins, tents and campervan sites.

At the heart of Gladding’s appeal was proposed landscaping for a “beautification strip”, particularly beech trees and fencing.

She believed the setback of cabins contravenes rules in Queenstown council’s district plan requiring them to be 5m from the boundary.

Jackson suggests Gladding submit on the council’s proposed district plan to ensure the legal difficulties the community faced in terms of the contravention between the district plan setback rules and the proposal did not recur.

He also suggests the council keep an eye on the overall streetscape of the town.

“I think it’s important, Glenorchy is a pretty special little place, that the council keeps an eye on the bigger view for Oban Street when the council is going through the [district plan] process.”

Jackson says costs will lie where they fall and he will try to issue an order by 5pm tomorrow.

Gladding initially told Jackson she would accept the settlement offer on landscaping but was still uncomfortable with the 2m setback proposed.

Holm said his client weren’t just agreeing to split the difference.

“That’s not the way we worked out the 2m concession … 2m is a generous offer.”