Council seeks to strike out damage claim

By Imran Ali

The Whangarei District Council wants the High Court to strike out an application by a businessman seeking damages.
The Whangarei District Council wants the High Court to strike out an application by a businessman seeking damages.

The Whangarei District Council wants the High Court to strike out an application by a businessman seeking damages from the territorial authority after encountering problems with land use consent of a quarry he bought.

Malcolm James Daisley, a contractor of Maungakaramea, bought a block of land on Knight Rd, Ruatangata, at the end of 2004 which included a quarry which he said was the subject of a 1988 open-ended land use consent for the quarrying of red brown rock. In February 2005, he said the council issued him with an abatement notice to stop quarrying all brown stone and other material in excess of 500cu m, saying quarrying was not allowed by a resource consent.

Further notices were issued and in August 2009 he said the council made an application in the Environment Court for an enforcement order to prevent him from undertaking all mineral extraction for a period of up to 16 months. The council, he said, withdrew its abatement and infringement notices in October 2009 after the land use consent documents held by the council were discovered by an employee of lawyer Wayne Peters, who acted for Mr Daisley on the enforcement order.

Mr Daisley claims the council's breach of its duty of care resulted in loss of revenue, its actions diminished the value of his property, and he incurred losses while making resource consent applications. He is seeking damages, interest and costs from the council. A hearing date on Mr Daisley's statement of claim against the council is yet to be set.

In September last year, the council filed an application for an order to strike out his claim. Mr Daisley is opposing the application. A hearing on the council's application was held in the High Court at Whangarei this week. The decision was reserved.

- Northern Advocate

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