By Philip Chandler for the Otago Daily Times
An Australian billionaire living in Queenstown has been officially warned not to use his rural helicopter pad without consent.
Tim Roberts, heir to a construction company fortune, applied earlier this year for a non-notified resource consent to make up to 20 flights a month, or a maximum two per day, from his 12-hectare property on Malaghans Rd.
Noise concerns were publicly aired by his immediate neighbour, Allister Saville, and fellow Malaghans Rd resident Peter Faul, who were also worried about the precedent Mr Roberts' helipad could create.
No decision has been reached on Mr Roberts' application.
Meantime, however, Mr Saville and Mr Faul say they have observed helicopters using his helipad.
Mr Faul: "It wasn't his helicopter, but I'm presuming [other people] are using his helipad with his permission.''
Mr Faul said the Queenstown Lakes District Council asked him and Mr Saville to provide affidavits detailing instances of helicopter activity.
Mr Saville said: "Everybody else has to abide by the laws, and why shouldn't he?
"At the end of the day, there's a due process we all live and die by, and one of them's getting the right consent in place before you go and build a helipad.
"I've got no problem with Tim Roberts at all - I actually like the guy. It's just his helicopter I don't like.''
Council communications adviser Lu Morris confirmed Mr Roberts "has been put on notice by the [council] enforcement team, requesting that he does not undertake any helicopter flights or landings from his property''.
"Since being put on notice, Mr Roberts has not carried out any illegal flights that we have been made aware of.''
Asked whether he has been using his helipad, and how he reacts to being put on notice by the council, Mr Roberts said: "I am concerned that malicious and unfounded complaints are being made against me and I find this extremely disturbing.
"I am also concerned that the proponents of such misleading allegations may be attempting to undermine both my good character and my application for resource consent.''
This story first appeared on the Daily Timeswebsite.