The company bidding to build a 28-storey hotel on Dunedin's
waterfront may have to launch a helicopter or a helium
balloon to demonstrate how tall it would be.
Betterways Advisory Ltd has applied for resource consent to
build the 96m-high apartment and hotel tower on vacant
industrial land at 41 Wharf St, prompting a public hearing
that adjourned this week without a decision.
The height of the proposed hotel has emerged as a major issue
for many submitters, some of whom have also criticised
montage images presented to the hearing that purported to
show what the hotel would look like from city vantage points.
Yesterday, Cr Colin Weatherall, chairman of the hearings
committee weighing the evidence, confirmed a request to
physically demonstrate the hotel's height at the site was
It would be up to Betterways to find a way of fulfilling the
request and pay for it, he said.
However, one option was to hover a helicopter above the site,
with a steel bar hanging below to indicate the height, he
Another option could be to launch a helium balloon from the
site on a calm day, tethered to the ground by a 96m-long wire
rope, he said.
It was ''not unusual'' to make such a request as part of the
council's consent process, Cr Weatherall said, but there were
differences this time.
''This [hotel] is a different height than most,'' he said.
Whatever method was chosen, committee members would need to
be satisfied the height being demonstrated was accurate.
The method would also need to remain in place for several
hours, allowing time to view the results from various
locations, Cr Weatherall said.
''How they do that is up to them,'' he said.
Betterways director Steve Rodgers, asked yesterday how he
might comply with such a request, said he was still ''working
''I'm honestly not sure.''
A balloon could be blown off course, making exact heights
difficult to achieve, while a hovering helicopter would not
give a true impression of the building's bulk or impact on
views, he said.
The consent hearing adjourned on Wednesday after seven days
of arguments for and against the hotel, but is scheduled to
resume on February 18.
Cr Weatherall said Betterways would be notified of any
requirement to demonstrate the hotel's height, and any other
additional information deemed necessary, prior to the
Helicopters Otago owner Graeme Gale said when contacted it
could cost between $1800 and $3000 per hour to hover over the
site, depending on the helicopter used.