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'No' to pistol club request for waiver

An application by Gisborne Pistol Club to have a $37,000 fee waived has been declined by the District Council’s finance and audit committee.But the committee is open to discussions with the club about a reduction in the fee. This follows the club’s unsuccessful efforts to relocate from its Gaddums Hill site, to which it now wants to return. A hearing in front of an independent commissioner is now being appealed and the club faces consent processing fees of $37,000.The committee resolved to decline the request to waive the consent fee but recommended that the council accept a reduction of the fee, and a time payment arrangement.It is recommending that the chief executive be instructed to negotiate with the pistol club, and left the final decision with the council.The committee was told that after complaints from residents in a new development in Gaddum’s Hill Road, the club found a new site. But a neighbour of the new site sought a judicial review, at which point the pistol club surrendered its consent for that site and renewed proceedings for the Gaddum’s Hill site. Josh Wharehinga said the pistol club was in the situation because of the council’s “not great” planning in the Gaddum’s Hill area.The complaints had come from where development was allowed near the club. “That is our fault,” he said.The club had been magnanimous in agreeing to move and had tried to work with the council.This highlighted the need to really knuckle down with the spatial plan (which will include where development should occur.)Meredith Akuhata Brown said there was no budget to cover the waiving of resource consent fees. The club had still not found anywhere to go.Larry Foster suggested the matter lie on the table because more information was required.Rehette Stoltz said if the council went with a recommendation to decline the waiver it was not recognising that it played a part in the whole process by allowing the development where the pistol club was.Committee chairman Brian Wilson said if there was recognition that the council had some culpability with the pistol club, the same could be said for the residents and that was what he found difficult.The residents had incurred some fees in opposing the consent.“Here we have both parties affected by the council decision. If we are giving from one side of the party why would we not give to the other.”Shannon Dowsing said to him this was around the fairness of the fees that had been charged.Were the fees appropriate for the work that had been delivered; would they have been fair regardless of past history? If that was the case he was happy to charge them that amount.The fact the council had created a conflict with residents was outside the scope of this paper.Andy Cranston said if the club was not relocated to a rural site there was always going to be a problem.Consents manager Reg Proffit said his understanding was that the club had not been sitting back and was looking for potential sites.Bill Burdett said there had been deputations from both the club and the residents and it had become quite acrimonious.He would like to see it resolved.Mr Wharehinga said to him the issue was not about the cost, it was about the principle of the matter. The rationale was faulty when they said the council was responsible to the residents. The pistol club was already a pre-existing activity.?