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Home arrow Other Coastlines arrow Bay of Islands arrow High-rise foes delighted
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Other Coastlines - Bay of Islands
Written by Brigid Lynch, The Northern Advocate   
Monday, 27 November 2006

SO LONG, SKYSCRAPER: Paihia Residents and Ratepayers' Association chairperson Val Cadell and deputy Bill MacLaren hold a 'before' and 'after' sketch of Paihia's proposed 15-storey tower, in front of its Marsden Rd site. The Environment Court this week upheld their appeal to have the building consent ditched. -PICTURE/William Pearce

Opponents of a Paihia high-rise apartment building are delighted the development has been scrapped, after a year-long David-and-Goliath battle between locals and the council.

The Environment Court this week overturned Far North District Council consent for the 15-storey building on Paihia's waterfront, with the judge ruling the environmental effects would be "more than minor".

Objectors said the proposed building would have cast a significant shadow over the town's waterfront. Paihia and Districts Residents and Ratepayers' Association chairperson Val Cadell said the group spent more than $72,000 on the appeal, with the Ministry for the Environment pitching in $34,000.

"Small groups like us with subs of $10 a head would never have done it alone," she said.

When consent was given, the council said the building would not be an eyesore as it would butt up against a high bluff on Marsden Rd, across from Te Tii Beach.

It was the only location in Paihia where a high-rise could be built without blocking views or shadowing neighbours, and was unlikely to set a planning precedent, it said.

Mrs Cadell said that, while her tourist-town committee is not "anti-development", the building was just too big.

A $12,000 artist's impression of the building was key to winning the appeal, she said; the Environment Court has invited them to apply for costs.

The council gave the go-ahead for the building last December, and the ratepayers' association was one of a handful of parties given the chance to make submissions during the appeal period.

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