Stoush over inner-city development resolved

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An exterior computer render of the Invercargill inner-city development. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

AN out-of-court settlement has meant an ongoing dispute between a commercial property owner and the firm behind the Invercargill inner-city development has come to an end.

A civil hearing had been due to start in the High Court at Christchurch yesterday between appellant Gaire Thompson and the Invercargill City Council (ICC) and HWCP Management Ltd.

Mr Thompson was seeking a judicial review regarding non-notification of resource consent variations.

However, on Monday, a court representative informed the Southland Express the hearing would no longer take place.

In the High Court at Christchurch in January, Justice David Gendall dismissed an injunction Mr Thompson sought to halt demolition of the buildings contained in the block between Dee, Esk, Kelvin and Tay Sts until the judicial review could be held.

A joint memorandum filed last Friday, signed by all parties’ legal counsel, stated Mr Thompson had given an undertaking in December last year to a maximum of $64,262 in damages payable to HWCP Management Ltd.

“Leave is sought on the grounds that the parties agree that the undertaking has been satisfied,” the memorandum says.

“Mr Thompson has paid costs to HWCP on terms agreed directly between the parties.

“There is otherwise no issue as to cost.”

Mr Thompson had now been granted leave by a judge to discontinue the proceeding.

On Monday night, Invercargill Central general manager and ICC executive officer Andrew Cameron confirmed the final settlement was confidential.

Invercargill Central Ltd (a joint venture between ICC and O’Donnell Family Investments) director Scott O’Donnell said it was great news.

“It’s put another chapter to bed, really.

“There’s been a few challenging chapters in this whole story.”

The focus was now on securing more retailers for the available tenancies after the Covid-19 pandemic and announcement of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter’s closure knocked business confidence, Mr O’Donnell said.

ICC chief executive Clare Hadley said it was pleasing the matter had been withdrawn.

“The decision by the court in January not to halt demolition meant any impact on the development was significantly reduced,” she said.

How much the process had cost ICC was yet to be determined.

Mr Thompson was unable to provide comment.

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