10 January 2012

Redevelopment approval for Waiheke airfield

After five years of legal wrangling a Dubai-based Emirates airline pilot has got the final go-ahead to buy and redevelop Waiheke Island's only airfield. The Overseas Investment Office has granted Neil Greer permission to acquire the property. The nine hectares of land, sold to Greer for $2.64 million, encompass the only airfield on the island available for commercial and private operations. The OIO was understood to have taken retrospective action after Greer bought the property in 2007. However, the field on a ridge near Onetangi remains just that – with one hangar and a small office. It is a long way off the originally proposed $10m resort, which included plans for 26 visitor accommodation units, 11 aircraft hangars, a terminal and a coffee shop. Heliscene pilot Terry Easthope, whose company leases the airfield, said he was unaware of any imminent activity. Greer's protracted legal battle with the now defunct Auckland Regional Council cost his company more than $200,000. The regional council refused soil and water permits, and appealed against land consents granted by the former Auckland City Council. In February 2010 the Environment Court granted permission to develop the resort, and the regional council was ordered to pay almost $100,000 in costs to the company. However, that payment was slashed by $48,000 after an appeal to the High Court. Waiheke residents also opposed the development when it was first mooted in 2007. Greer could not be reached for comment.

For a history of the development of Stonyridge and Reeve airfields see...

This post was part of a series of posts on the different air services to Waiheke...

Good luck to the new owner.

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