Hotel images but height balloon out

The man promoting a $100 million waterfront hotel in Dunedin has produced new images of what the 28-storey tower would look like, but ruled out using a tethered balloon to demonstrate its height.

Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers said the company had been asked by committee chairman Cr Colin Weatherall to provide five pieces of information before the hotel's resource consent hearing resumed next month.

The company had been given until last Friday to provide the information, which included the new images, an assessment of environmental effects covering construction and wind disturbance, a report from a recognised landscape expert and a demonstration of the hotel's height.

So far, Betterways has complied with only one of the requests, to provide additional images, but has ruled out a demonstration of the hotel's height.

It had been suggested a tethered balloon, or a hovering helicopter, might be used to show how high above its surroundings the hotel would soar.

However, the company had investigated and ruled out options including a balloon, helicopter and even a crane, Mr Rodgers said.

''Betterways will not do this as it cannot see how using a helicopter with dimensions of 4m by 10m ... can give any reasonable idea of a building that is 70m wide by 98m high.

''The cost to provide this exceeds the benefit,'' he said.

The company would also not provide any additional evidence from a landscape expert, as it was felt the committee had ''a sufficient factual basis to form their own view'', based on evidence already presented, Mr Rodgers said.

''A number of witnesses have given evidence already about the design and form of the building, and it is to be expected that opinions will differ on that subject.''

However, Betterways was working with other companies to provide the other information requested, including the assessments of wind and construction effects, he said.

Work on the construction assessment had been disrupted by the ''upheaval'' within the industry caused by the collapse of Mainzeal Property and Construction, but was expected to be completed next week, he said.

A wind assessment would also be provided to the committee ''as soon as it is completed'', he said.

Cr Weatherall has already said it was up to Betterways to decide to what extent it complied with the committee's request for additional information.

The committee was expected to invite all 507 hotel submitters to have another say on the new information before the adjourned hearing resumed on March 18.

Mr Rodgers remained confident of a ''positive decision''.

- chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Hotel would be a big mistake...

I was down at the wharf looking at the yacht "Spirit of New Zealand" last weekend. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I tried to imagine a 28 storey hotel near there, blocking views and creating shade - it would be a backward step for Dunedin - don't do it. 

As for the photos supplied by Betterways, no sign of shade there anywhere - perhaps a much wider range of photos is actually needed?  

Anti . . .

Bets states nothing ever happens in Mosgiel. Firstly if they had taken the time to pop out there they would find it is punching well above its weight compared to Dunedin, Second if they actually read why people have concerns he or she would realize they have informed themselves and are practising their right. Please don't roll out that old "anti" chestnut simply because you disagree.

Kitchener St helipad

Always good to confer with CAA, when you seek permissions to fly a balloon(s) from the site. Also, see CAA's submission on the Betterways' application for the proposed hotel and apartment building. No point in taking out a rescue chopper.

No more meaningless shots

We now have all the photos we need showing how South Dunedin will look when viewed from the harbour. No more, please. What we would like to see from the applicant is one, I'll settle for one, photo which shows how the view of the harbour and peninsula (our number one tourist assets) will change when viewed from a location which currently has an unobstructed view. Just one.

CAA clearance not required

Go for it as CAA clearance is not required for a tethered balloon with maximum diameter of 1.5m or gas capacity of 3 cubic metres.

Anti crowd

Someone wants to invest in our City and the natural reaction of the anti-crowd is to oppose it!

For the Council to deny a party a resource consent they should have to demonstrate that the negatives significantly outweigh the benefits of the project. I've been to Thomas Burns St, it's a wasteland!

The young and productive members of Dunedin would love to have dinner on the top level with the magnificent views of the harbour. The oldies can move out to Mosgiel; nothing changes out there!

It's a bellows life in black and white

Colour (kala), ej kerr? Not for us the Fujichrome. It's Ilford b/w for the world in shades. Think Greg Toland. Probly don't think of Orson Welles.

Clearance

IWAS, you may need clearance from CAA.

Barrage on the garage

A barrage balloon would do the trick, even though they were demobbed in '45. They are tethered by wire to ground structures. It's worth a crack, Nigel.

Bad days at the camera club, rejected

Members hardly bothered with formal classes in wide angle perspective, depth of field, successful use of colour and contrast. Their choice of architectural subjects was dull and repetitive. That night, over tea and sandwiches, the bulb blew on the projector. A branch fell on the cars outside.

Balloon

That's it, I am going out to the site on a quiet morning and I am going to float a balloon to the height of the proposed hotel. I will ask a few mates stationed around town and accross the harbour to take high quality digital images of the floatation device.

Now all I have to do is get permission and it's wham bam thank you ma'am.

Anyone wants to join me, organise a time and bring your own helium balloon.

At first, just ghostly

Given that the building is not actually there, it is a shade of its proposed existence.

Subtext

IWAS: I think that what the developer is trying to say is that if we live our lives hiding behind trees or buildings, and never dare to look at Dunedin's magnificent harbour view then it won't be ruined.

So, the balloon's out then!

Did anyone ever seriously consider it would be in, given the exposure of the site to Dunedin's notorious nor-easter and the pleurisy-inducing location of the site. No balloon is going to hover on a vertical tether under such conditions. Nor do I think that visual-impact information provided by the appellant, Betterways Advisory, should be accepted as authoratative, either; since that is tantamount to putting the fox into the hen-coop.

If computer-generated images are to be provided, then they must come from some uninterested, and preferably professionally detached party. Of course, a key part of Betterways' case, will hinge upon minimising the visual effects upon the city-scape, and, giving them the choice of locations and relying upon their integrity to deliver un-fudged information, is too much of an 'ask' under the circumstances; especially with a very clear recollection, on the part of most Dunedin people still, of the last time we accepted such things on-trust and what that landed us with.

Best they can do?

Is this the best the promoters of the hotel can do?  Those images seem to have been done rather hurriedly and on the cheap. If this is an indication of what we can expect of the quality and soundness of the hotel development itself, then we should be worried.

Burlington Bertie at 10.30

The imagined view from the old walled part of town is very creative, to be fair.

Anonymous shade

And notice how the hotel has suddenly become an anonymous shade of mid-grey... all the better to blend into the background. This set of photos provided by the developers has been carefully selected to show the hotel as nothing more than a minor blip on Dunedin's horizon. Hopefully our elected officials will see through this hollow ruse.

The view from the Oval

The view from the Oval makes it look a similar height to the builidings down by uni. Must have Tardis like properties plus cloaking device as it is a neutral colour in all images.

And the refusal to fly a balloon is setting your own terms for a resource const rubber stamp.....

The cost exceeds the benefit...

of using physical means ("the company had investigated and ruled out options including a balloon, helicopter and even a crane")l says Betterways' spokesperson Mr Rodgers.  I see what he means.  These photographs are much more "beneficial" towards their case.  Whether they will demonstrate to the satisfaction of Dunedin people that this is how the finished structure would look is another matter altogether.  It would not surprise me if they raise even more suspicions that we are having our legs pulled, and not all that subtlely either which is insulting.  Most of us are not as green as we're cabbage-looking, as my old Mum used to say.

Farcical folly

Are these photos a joke? Maybe they should also include a photo from behind Mt Cargill then and another from Mosgiel. Something really fishy going on with demonstrating the height of this hotel. Notice how it looks smaller close up and why is it hiding behind the trees? What strange photos.

Betterways shortfall

The applicant seems to be defining the terms of reference of the Resource Consents Committee.

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