'Extensive' earthworks on Queenstown hillside prompt investigation

by Lauren Pattemore - Jan 24, 2024

The cutting of a new track on a previously untouched hill face behind Quail Rise has caused neighbours to ask questions about its legitimacy.

And it has prompted a subsequent investigation into the activity on Ferry Hill, classed as an Outstanding Natural Landscape in the operative district plan.

Otago Regional Council acting regulatory manager Joanna Gilroy has confirmed they have received complaints about the works occurring at the site and are currently investigating the activity in collaboration with the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council's monitoring and enforcement team has also heard from members of the public concerned about the activities being undertaken on this property.

Both organisations say they are unable to comment further while an investigation is in progress.

Crux understands the work started this year, and is being carried out on behalf of Ross Copland, who lives in Quail Rise and has developed a smaller farm track lower down on Ferry Hill.

This activity was given resource consent in 2020.

It is unclear whether Mr Copland has resource consent for the latest activity.

Crux became aware of the latest earthworks after hearing from multiple neighbours about them.

One local who spoke to Crux says they've observed what they claim to be "extensive earthworks" on Ferry Hill that has included rock breaking.

Another neighbour has described the work to cut the new track as leaving a "huge scar" on Ferry Hill.

Mr Copland has not responded to a request for comment.

Main image (supplied): A neighbour claims earthworks on the hillside property in Quail Rise have left a 'huge scar' on a protected landscape.

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