Plans for a $100 million five-star hotel on Dunedin's
waterfront are to go back to submitters for another round of
It was confirmed yesterday the Dunedin City Council's
hearings committee has requested more information from
Betterways Advisory Ltd, which wants to build the 28-storey
hotel and apartment tower.
The committee planned to invite hundreds of submitters to
have another say on the new information, before resuming the
hotel's resource consent hearing in March.
The details were contained in a letter from committee
chairman Cr Colin Weatherall to Betterways, dated January 17
and released to the Otago Daily Times by Cr Weatherall
Betterways director Steve Rodgers said when contacted he was
still considering its contents, but was frustrated and
concerned by the length of time the consent process was
That was the fault of the Resource Management Act, not the
hearings committee, but he estimated the company's bill for
consultants and other costs so far was ''well into the
six-figure sums'' and rising.
''At the moment, it just seems to me that the red tape is
extending the timeframe,'' he said.
''It frustrates me, but that's the process.''
Cr Weatherall's letter to Betterways said extra information
was required for a ''proper understanding'' of the hotel and
its impact on the immediate surroundings and wider
He asked Betterways for an assessment of the environmental
effects of construction and wind disturbance arising from the
hotel, as well as a report from a recognised landscape expert
and additional computer-generated images showing the hotel
from locations around the city.
The company would also have to find a way to physically
demonstrate the hotel's height on site in a way that was
visible from across the harbour, perhaps by using a tethered
balloon, Cr Weatherall wrote.
The committee wanted the information by February 15, after
which the 507 submitters to the hearing - 457 of them opposed
- would be invited to have another say on the new
information, in writing initially, by March 1.
The hearing was scheduled to resume on March 18. Mr Rodgers
could not say whether all of the information could - or would
- be provided, but doubted all of it could be within the
timeframe. Asked why the material had not been part of the
company's original application, Mr Rodgers said he ''didn't
think it was necessary''.
Expert analysis of wind effects had been presented but it had
only served to confuse the issue, he believed.
Images purporting to show the hotel's appearance from
locations around the city had been criticised by some
submitters for not showing the full extent of the hotel's
However, Mr Rodgers said locations had been chosen by the
council, not Betterways. The criticism during the hearing led
to a request for more images.
He remained concerned any physical demonstration of the
hotel's height - using a tethered balloon or a hovering
helicopter - would be problematic, and he was talking to
Animation Research Ltd about alternatives.
Mr Rodgers remained confident the ''right decision'' would
eventually be reached, but said it was important for the city
the hotel went ahead as soon as possible.