QLDC offers extra 30 days to Ballantyne businesses

by Kim Bowden - May 30, 2024

The council has given stressed-out Ballantyne Road businesses a 30-day reprieve, doubling the amount of time available to them to find new places to operate from in Wānaka.

Two weeks ago the Queenstown Lakes District Council provided formal written notice to 14 businesses that they needed to be gone from the council-owned land beside Wastebusters within 30 days, with several recipients of the letter telling Crux they were blindsided by the news and scrambling to find alternative sites.

Engineer Jason Morgan: The council's 'marching orders' felt like a 'kick in the guts'.

Now, in follow up correspondence, the council has apologised to them.

"We appreciate the distress and inconvenience that the 30-day notice period may have caused. This was certainly not our intention, and we apologise," QLDC property director Quintin Howard writes.

"Given the casual month-to-month arrangement that you had with the former owner, we were of the view that a 30-day notice period would be sufficient in this instance, particularly where there is no documentation for us to turn to or suggest otherwise."

The council bought the 8.3-hectare property at 189 Ballantyne Road for $3.36 million late last year's the future site of a new waste transfer station.

But those working from makeshift yards set up there under the previous owner said up until the eviction notice received on Thursday, May 16, they'd had no contact from the council, despite their best attempts to secure an update on their tenancies. 

Mr Howard says the council is now open to extending its 30-day notice period to 60 days, where requested, acknowledging some businesses would be "adversely affected otherwise".

Among the business operating on the land are AllWaste Wānaka, Central Lakes Engineering, Gallagher Civil, Apex Contracting, Wānaka Fence Hire, and Peak Contracting.

Jason Morgan, the owner and director of Central Lakes Engineering, last week told Crux his business uses a fenced area at the site for sand blasting and painting - activities he can't easily do in town - and he has jobs lined up that rely on use of the space.

Like others spoken to, he was concerned about where to next, saying there is a general lack of suitable industrial spaces for work of this nature in Wānaka.

For now, the council is unable to provide any update on progress on its plans for the site.

Read more: Wānaka business homeless as QLDC evicts them from Ballantyne Road site

'Informal' and 'ad hoc': QLDC responds to kicked-out Ballantyne businesses

Main images: The yards at 189 Ballantyne Road are well used by local businesses, but the council has demanded that everything there must go.


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