The Environment Court says a planned $75 million golf resort near Wanaka is highly laudable but does not meet resource management objectives – yet.
Three parties appealed against the proposal to build a 180ha 18-hole professional course and resort on land at Parkins Bay, near Glendhu Bay.
Glendhu Station owners Bob and Pam McRae and Queenstown-based developer and golf course designer John Darby are behind the project, which was granted resource consent in May 2008.
The Upper Clutha Environmental Society, the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust and a third party, an Australian holiday homeowner, appealed against the Queenstown Lakes District Council resource decision.
They argued the project could harm the landscape and amenity values of Glendhu Bay.
Judge Jon Jackson's 99-page interim decision – with commissioners Charles Manning and Diane Menzies – set down dates in February for additional information and new evidence from the parties. Proceedings were adjourned for a final decision.
The interim decision says Parkins Bay Preserve Ltd's application was in many ways highly laudable.
The 18-hole course and resort would come close to achieving a sustainable pattern of golf courses in the district.
However, the application did not adequately deal with the impact of large-scale development in a rural area, the cumulative effects of any further development and the natural environment of Glendhu Station.
Judge Jackson said Parkins Bay Preserve had addressed environmental compensation only as an afterthought and should be given a right of reply after consultation with the McRae family.
If amended, the application could be pushed from failure to success, Judge Jackson said.