Dunedin City Council has won the first round in a long-running dispute over a quarry near Saddle Hill.
The Environment Court on Thursday found on the balance of probabilities that the then-Taieri County Council did not grant a consent for the operation under the 1953 Town and Country Planning Act.
Dunedin City Council took the case to court to resolve 40+ years of objections from residents to removal of rock.
It does not want to shut the quarry, but wants to restrict its boundaries to stop degradation of the ridge line near Saddle Hill.
The council said the ruling means the quarry can continue to operate only with existing use rights.
The Environment Court's next step is to determine what those rights are.