Appeal against Catholic school in Arrowtown dismissed

An Arrowtown residents’ appeal against an Environment Court decision which permits St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School to build in Arrowtown has been rejected by High Court Justice Christine French, in a judgment released on Friday last.

The Catholic Bishop of  Dunedin, the Most Reverend Colin Campbell, purchased a property on Speargrass Flat Road, Arrowtown, in 2006.   A school for 60 pupils was planned, as the Catholic school in Queenstown had grown too big for its premises.   The Diocese had in mind to build a school in Arrowtown catering for the whole district.

The lodge on the property was destroyed by fire, so it was decided to build a 112 pupil school.   The classroom block was to be 480 square metres and the administration block 220 squm. There is also room for a playing field and a 42 space car park. The cost estimate was between $3 and $5 million.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council granted a resource consent for the school in 2009 even though 26 of 28 submissions were against it. Residents and landowners on Speargrass Flat Rd appealed the consent in the Environment Court, which ruled in favour.  Eight groups then appealed against this ruling, again including residents and landowners.

It was alleged by those appealing against the ruling that there were errors in the decision of the Environment Court. The decision said that there was no evidence of error in the court’s consideration of the ‘nature and scale of activities’, nor was there a failure to consider traffic.

Although there were two errors of law in the court’s decision, Justice French dismissed the appeal because the court had dealt properly with matters relevant to its decision.


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