Dunedin Botanic Garden curator Alan Matchett shows what the
garden's new plant nursery will look like if the necessary
resource consents are granted. Photo by Dan Hutchinson
The Dunedin Botanic Garden has applied for resource
consent to shift a major part of its operation to the other
side of Lovelock Ave in what would be a $6 million project.
The application for a facility to replace the ageing
propagation and plant nursery was lodged yesterday and future
plans for a visitor centre, cafe and lookout were also
Garden management staff propose demolishing the nursery and
glasshouses, just above the aviary, and rebuilding where the
Botanic Garden Centre is, on the other side of the road.
The long-term plans for the cafe, visitors' centre, viewing
platform, potted vegetable garden, bus stops and car parking
would rely heavily on fundraising.
The final resource consent application had to be scaled down
to fit within the $6 million budget and that meant the
current administration building and workshop would not be
Botanic garden curator Alan Matchett said the nursery was ''a
dog's breakfast'', inconveniently laid out on several levels
and occupied the area of the garden with the best views.
The new facility would be on just one level with high eaves
and, although it would be an ''off-the-shelf'' type of
structure, it would take care of the garden's needs well into
Funding of $2.6 million was already included in the Dunedin
City Council's 2012-13 budget and a further $3.4 million had
been included in the draft annual plan for 2013-14.
Mr Matchett said the garden would be working with the Friends
of the Garden on fundraising for the future plans.
In the meantime, provi-ded the garden received consent to
move across the road, the old site would be cleared and
planted in grass.
''We are taking out something that is right in the centre of
the garden. You can see the skyline and city and up the Leith
Valley. It will be incredible,'' Mr Matchett said.
The fall-back plan in case consent was not granted was to
build on the same site but that was fraught with issues,
including what to do with the thousands of plants that were
Council project manager Hamish Black said the propagation and
plant nursery was a ''pretty critical asset in dire need of
The Botanic Garden Centre will need to be demolished or moved
to make way for the new facilities.
Traffic movement from the new buildings across Lovelock Ave
to the main part of the garden was also covered in the
resource consent application.
A soft screen of plants and solid fencing would also be
constructed in the space between the new buildings and
Lovelock Ave to create a ''soft edge''.