Fletcher Residential is pondering a damning Environment Court interim ruling over its plans for a $1.2 billion housing estate in the Three Kings quarry pit.

Steve Evans, chief executive, did not go as far as saying an appeal would be lodged but he did indicate how his company was considering its next steps.

Fletcher must address 13 issues with its plans for the former Winstone quarry.

"We are still evaluating the decision and our next steps," Evans said. "Part of the process involves the appellants' and other parties' response to the interim judgement. Until the whole process is completed there is not much else we can say."

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Nick Smith, Building and Housing Minister said nothing was decided.

"It would not be appropriate for me to comment on any interim view of the Environment Court when proceedings are still underway. The planning issues at Three Kings are also part of the process of the new Unitary Plan. Both these statutory processes will need to conclude before we will know what developments will be permitted in the old quarry," Smith said.

But Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford praised the outcome.

"The court has handed down a considered judgement that seems to validate some of the arguments put up by the community groups on enhancing the volcanic landscape and connection to the town centre.

"It would be good to see the parties now unite behind an approach they can all live with so this important development can get on," Twyford said.

The court said issues to be dealt with range from where Fletcher had proposed to build to how it dealt with open space and sports fields. A list of issues the court says need to be addressed includes:
• recognition of protection of volcanic features,
• view shaft issues,
• building form issues,
• appropriate rules on delivery of new sports fields,
• minimum dwelling sizes.

The South Epsom Planning Group, Three Kings United Group, Ngati Te Ata Waiohua and Ngati Tamaoho Trust went to court against the council and Fletcher.

The council's plan change allows Fletcher to rezone 15.1ha of the ex-quarry. There is also a plan for Auckland Council and the Crown to swap 6.5ha of reserve land with Fletcher Residential for the development which parties who went to court oppose