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Coromandel Main Street in TCDC Sights

David Hammond announced this week that Council would be pursuing costs in the Coromandel Four Square case of some $28,000 - a mere fraction of the total legal costs. 

The no doubt well-meaning small group of people who aimed to protect the town from the development of the site by Foodstuffs will no doubt be working out ways to further the appeal process (unlikely), or avoid having to meet these costs. But there may be no way out if the Council has done its homework - and I doubt if it would be broadcasting in intention had it not done so.

What is staggering is that this progress of this appeal has been principally funded by the Department of the Environment through its special fund for this purpose. It has lost at every step of the way, but the determination of these people to test every possible recourse has cost the rate-payers of this Peninsula an arm and a leg for no purpose whatsoever, other than propound a misguided view of what should and what should not be permissible in a commercial zone.

There is of course a NIMBY element involved, but in the main these people do appear sincere and well-intentioned - just misguided. Why on earth the legal system accommodates divisive and futile processes of this nature is quite beyond understanding. We do need protection against executive power, but in this case, the opponents just went too far towards obstinacy. 

The Council is correct to pursue recovery, but in the end it is likely to be good money after bad as these people scramble to seek a legal firewall. Incorporation may not be sufficient to avoid individual liability - a situation likely to be tested in court - but at whose cost?




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