Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

The US billionaire’s luxury Wānaka hideaway was rejected again

By Vaseline May31,2024

Billionaire Peter Thiel has lost his appeal against a decision refusing permission for a proposed luxury lodge overlooking Lake Wānaka.

The Environment Court announced its judgment after Thiel company Second Star Ltd sought to overturn a 2022 decision by a Queenstown Lakes District Council consenting panel.

The company wanted to develop the four-building grass-roof complex, which would accommodate up to 30 guests, on a site overlooking Glendhu Bay, about 7km from Wānaka town centre.

In the decision, Judge Prudence Steven said that although the lodge’s design was ‘attractive and responsive to the surrounding area’, the proposed tree planting would not adequately protect the buildings from various public views on the nearby public right of way, and the scenic values ​​of the environment. The exceptional natural landscape would not be protected.

The decision follows a two-day hearing in Queenstown in March.

An independent panel of Queenstown Lakes District Council decided that the “large, very tall building” would be too visible from a public walkway; the 1165 m² lodge was inappropriately dominant in the Outstanding Natural Landscape (ONL); and design details were not clear.

Commissioners Ian Munro, Glyn Lewers and Wendy Baker said the lodge would be “special” and “often visible” from the nearby Glendhu Bay circuit.

“All members were quite shocked by the frequency with which substantial parts of the proposal would be clearly and directly visible… and in a way that would reinforce a scale of development that is inconsistent with the ONL,” they said in a released decision. yesterday.

The view of the lodge from the lake would also be large and clearly visible, but not so much as to endanger the ONL, they said.

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