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Queenstown developer loses $14 million in damages

A Supreme Courtroom choose has dismissed a $14 million declare by a Queenstown property developer in opposition to a Speargrass Flat couple, calling the proceedings an “abuse of the court docket course of”.

The Chris Meehan-affiliated firm Waterfall Park Developments filed the declare in opposition to James and Rebecca Hadley final yr, claiming it had suffered losses because of the couple’s “persistent and unreasonable” opposition to their plans to construct housing on land that the corporate had misplaced. property between Lake Hayes and Arrow Metropolis.

In his resolution, launched publicly this week, Choose Gerald Nation mentioned the developer’s implied motive for the declare was to dissuade the Hadleys from taking part in three different authorized proceedings involving them.

It wished to “impose the burden and expense on the Hadleys” of getting to defend the declare.

Firm lawyer Mike Colson argued that the Hadleys had constantly opposed the event of among the land on Ayrburn Farm by suing the corporate over a row of bushes it had planted, submitting with the council in opposition to the allotment utility and oppose the corporate’s appeals. concerning the vacation spot of the land, the planting of bushes and the subdivision.

These actions had been “persistent and unreasonable,” costing the corporate the prospect to start growth in June of final yr, Colson mentioned.

The corporate requested proof of confidential communications from court docket mediation and subsequent settlement negotiations with the Hadleys, each of which had failed final yr.

In an affidavit supporting the submitting, Mr. Meehan mentioned Hadley’s conduct by means of these communications amounted to “extortion or blackmail,” and that their motive had been to take “a industrial benefit” from the corporate.

Nonetheless, Justice Nation dismissed the 2 separate claims for damages, totaling $14.36 million, and denied the request for proof.

The Hadleys’ opposition was not “unreasonable and protracted,” nor had they didn’t act in good religion throughout mediation and settlement negotiations.

The choice is the most recent spherical of a prolonged and complicated authorized dispute between the Hadleys and the corporate, which owns historic Ayrburn Farm and the neighboring Waterfall Park properties.

The couple took the corporate earlier than the Environmental Courtroom in 2020 over a 500-metre line of bushes it had planted alongside a boundary of Ayrburn Farm.

They argued that the bushes would adversely have an effect on the adjoining Queenstown Path, their actual function was to display screen the residential growth the developer meant, and that they weren’t an agricultural shelter as the corporate claimed.

The court docket dominated that the planting of bushes was unlawful, and in March the Supreme Courtroom dismissed Meehan’s attraction in opposition to the choice.

Mr Meehan has lately shelved plans for a retirement house on a part of Ayrburn land and is now aiming to transform the positioning into residential tons.

He’s nonetheless searching for a retirement house on the grounds of Waterfall Park, after dropping plans for an already accredited 380-room resort and spa complicated.

– Man Williams, PIJF court docket reporter

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