source : www.dailymail.co.uk
Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright and his Instagram influencer wife Kaia have been brought back down to earth with a ban on using their helicopter as a family car.
Neighbors complained that the couple was constantly flying in and out of their semi-rural property in Virginia, 30 kilometers southeast of Darwin, Northern Territory.
But the Wrights insisted they had the right to do so because of his established “existing use” and said he was not using his home as a “passenger terminal or heliport.”
“I have used helicopters as my primary mode of transportation for myself, family and friends for many years,” Wright, 44, added.
“Just like people use motor vehicles, I fly in and out of our house in the morning and back in the evening.”
The NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal has now grounded the Wrights, two years after neighbors first protested about the noise, sparking a protracted legal battle.
Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright and his Instagram influencer wife Kaia have been brought back down to earth with a ban on using their helicopter as a family car
Neighbors complained that the couple was constantly flying in and out of their semi-rural estate in Virginia, 30km south-east of Darwin, Northern Territory.
In 2021, two formal complaints were made to NT Development Consent Authority (DCA), accusing the Wrights of using their home as a landing zone without permission.
They claimed that the number of incoming and outgoing flights had increased and that the Wrights were now using the house for their tourism activities. The DCA ruled in favor of the neighbors in May.
“There is no dispute that Matthew Wright uses part of the site as a helicopter landing or take-off site,” the DCA ruled, NT News reported.
‘The applicants have acted in violation, are in violation and will be in violation of… the Planning Act.’
The couple insisted they bought the property in 2017, two years before a new law changed the rules around landing sites.
They claimed that they were allowed to continue to do this because they used the property for helicopter flights before the change in the law.
“Because the use of the helicopter was not a separate use of the property, the existing use provisions of the Planning Act have not been complied with as there has been no change in the use of the land from residential,” they said in their defense to NT News. reported.
However, the DCA rejected the Wrights’ claims, saying the ‘existing use’ was not relevant as planning laws still needed to be complied with.
The Netflix reality TV star – who is facing criminal charges over the death of his best friend Chris ‘Willow’ Wilson, who died while collecting alligator eggs in 2022 – took the case to NTCAT earlier this year.
The Wrights insisted they had the right to fly their helicopters (pictured) because of his established “existing use” and said he was not using his home as a “passenger terminal or heliport.”
But last Friday, the NTCAT found the family had broken the laws by continuing to leave their property despite the rule change.
After eight months of hearings, NTCAT president Mark O’Reilly rejected the Wrights’ claim that the DCA notice had unfairly punished them.
He confirmed the DCA’s no-fly zone, adding: “It is always open to a legislature to make illegal something that was previously legal.”
source : www.dailymail.co.uk