Synlait Milk Ltd applied to the Supreme Court on Friday for leave to appeal over the reinstatement of land covenants on its Pokeno land.
Restrictive covenants were removed by one court order, then reinstated by another.
Synlait announced its conditional purchase of 28ha at Pokeno in February 2018 to establish its second nutritional powder manufacturing site.
Last month, the Court of Appeal overturned decisions High Court judge Mark Woolford made in late 2018 affecting development land at Pokeno, Auckland’s growth centre on the south side of the Bombay Hills.
In November 2018, Justice Woolford removed covenants which would have hindered Synlait’s development. Synlait then took ownership of the land.
However, in May 2019 the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision to remove historic covenants, concluding that Justice Woolford was wrong in his finding that extinguishing or modifying the covenants to permit the Synlait dairy factory to operate wouldn’t seriously affect adjoining land substantially owned by NZ Industrial Park Ltd (Ye Qing) if it decided to quarry.
The Appeal Court bench said air discharge consents would be harder to obtain because of the dairy factory’s sensitivity to contaminants, including dust, and ordered that the covenants be reinstated. Various rulings on costs & damages followed.
Synlait chief executive Leon Clement said on Friday: “This is really just the next step in the process as we continue to progress all our options. We are also still in continued conversations with all parties and we remain confident of a positive outcome.”
He said Synlait’s plans for its site hadn’t changed: “We will continue to work towards the existing project timetable including the build, commissioning & production. We remain committed to Pokeno as well as our shareholders & other stakeholders in Pokeno such as our farmers, suppliers & staff.”
Court of Appeal, 9 May 2019: New Zealand Industrial Park Ltd v Stonehill Trustee Ltd
13 May 2019: Synlait still committed to Pokeno factory
10 May 2019: Court orders reinstatement of Pokeno quarry covenants affecting Synlait
7 March 2014: Shanghai Pengxin’s Synlait Farms takeover goes unconditional
1 September 2013: Yashili gets consent for Pokeno dairy plant
28 December 2008: Council creates new plan change for Pokeno
9 December 2007: Pokeno growth MoU signed
Attribution: Company release.