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From preaching to planning: A former Southland church will soon be home to a Queenstown town planning business

By MARK PRICE

A 110-year-old former church has become part of the Malaghans Road landscape, between Queenstown and Arrowtown.

The building was bought from the Waikaka Presbyterian Church parish, in Eastern Southland, by Malaghans Investments Ltd owner Brett Giddens.

Giddens has Queenstown council approval to convert the building into office space for his Town Planning Group business.

The church was trucked 170km from Waikaka in March to its new site near Coronet Peak Station Rd, and will be restored and adapted to its new use over winter.

The 160 square metre building’s 6.9m to the top of the roof, with finials to about 8.5m, and features a bell tower.

Independent commissioner Wendy Baker considered the company’s application for resource consent and gave her approval in February, considering any adverse effects would be ‘‘no more than minor’’ and, given the small scale of the activity, commercial use of the building wouldn’t have a ‘‘noticeable adverse effect’’ on road users.

The church was decomissioned by the Waikaka parish last year, and Gore’s Ensign newspaper reported parish session clerk Jim Weir saying the sale saved the parish from having to upgrade or demolish the building.

Parishioners are now attending church at Otama.

Giddens declined to dis cuss the project with Mountain Scene.

ed@scene.co.nz