Queenstown hotel developers and bar told to cough up

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A Queenstown luxury hotel and a bar have both been ordered to pay costs by the Environment Court. 

Two companies which developed The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments on Frankton have been ordered to pay Queenstown Lakes District Council $19,505.54 towards the costs of taking enforcement action against both businesses. 

The action mostly relates to the developers not following a condition of their resource consent relating to providing on-site parking for construction workers. 

Judge Jon Jackson says the condition was imposed “to ensure public safety and to reduce amenity and congestion issues on Andrews Road and the adjacent State Highway”. 

Jackson says the developers “flagrantly disregarded the terms of their consent, hiding behind an argument based on difference in interpretation. 

“Further, they appear to have persisted in the breach once the court had issued a decision granting interim enforcement orders. 

“Over the past two years the [developers’] actions have cost the council its time and caused it unnecessary expense in terms of experts undertaking site visits and preparing evidence to report to this court.” 

Separately, Judge Jackson has also ordered Monty’s bar owner Barry Ellis to cough up $18,480 to the landlord and operator of the swanky neighbouring Spire Hotel. 

Monty’s had challenged a resource consent condition requiring patrons not to use its outdoor areas after 10pm – though, after three years of legal manoeuvring, it withdrew its appeal in August. 

In trying to maintain the condition – to prevent noise disturbing its five-star guests – The Spire operator told the court it incurred costs of $29,173.95, while the landlord also sought almost $24,000. 

Judge Jackson awarded The Spire developer and operator “approximately 35 per cent of the amount sought”. 

“Monty’s initially breached the conditions of the stay [that was granted to it] and went on to delay proceedings by not prosecuting its appeal in an efficient manner. 

“For these reasons I find that Monty’s has run its case in a manner which constitutes an abuse of process …”
Judge Jackson does, though, suggest it would have been more cost-effective for The Spire landlord and operator to have shared lawyers. 

Monty’s unsuccessfully sought an award of $26,475.20 against The Spire.