A Queenstown billionaire's blades have been clipped after his latest legal skirmish with neighbours over helicopter flights from his property.

At a hearing last month, Australian Tim Roberts asked the Environment Court to declare flights to and from his 12ha Malaghans Rd property were permitted under district planning rules.

He argued the flights were "ancillary to farming activities'' - supporting operations on his two high country farms - and did not need resource consent.

Judge Jane Borthwick declined the application in her decision this month, saying the flights were for a "different activity and an end in itself''.


The Queenstown Lakes District Council's enforcement department emailed Mr Roberts last week to inform him of its "expectations in relation to helicopter activities occurring'' at his property.

Any more non-permitted flights would result in an abatement notice being issued, it said.

In December, neighbour Allister Saville appealed a council commissioners' decision to give Mr Roberts consent to make up to two flights a day to and from his property.

The appeal is yet to be heard.

Mr Roberts told the Otago Daily Times he did not want to comment while the matter was before the court.

Mr Saville could not be reached for comment, but another party to the appeal, Peter Faul, said Mr Roberts had continued to fly intermittently from his property after previous warnings from the council.

"As recently as yesterday he stated to me he has every intention of carrying on flying.''

The council had been reluctant to enforce those warnings, but he hoped it would do so after the latest court decision, Mr Faul said.


"We've done the legal work for the council.''

Unless the issue can be resolved by mediation next month, Mr Saville's appeal is likely to be heard later this year.

In the meantime, Mr Roberts has applied for consent for up to two flights a day from a temporary helipad on another part of his property, further from neighbouring houses.