The developers pushing to build a $100 million waterfront
hotel in Dunedin have suggested a new deadline to decide
their next move.
Betterways Advisory Ltd, which wants to build the five-star
hotel at 41 Wharf St, has been engaged in behind-the-scenes
talks since appealing a decision to decline resource consent
Project developers Queenstown-based Jing Song and her husband
Ping Cao, of China, had been expected to decide their next
move after meeting Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull by the end of
However, the meeting had not taken place, and Betterways
lawyer Phil Page yesterday suggested the company might wait
until March before announcing how it would proceed.
Mr Page, in a memorandum to the Environment Court yesterday,
said the developers hoped to report back to the court by
March 28 about whether the hotel proposal would proceed.
The developers were still working with independent
consultants to address the ''key issue'' of connection
between the proposed hotel and the central business district,
However, that work was not complete, and Mr Page said it was
''pointless'' to present a plan to the court before that work
on the proposed hotel's connection to the city's CBD had been
''There are many good reasons why much of the ... work since
lodging the appeal cannot be in the public realm. The project
is of tremendous importance to Dunedin, whichever `camp' a
party is in.
''If the appellant is required to focus on preparing evidence
for the appeal now, it will have to abandon its examination
of potentially valuable alternatives ... This is one of those
cases in which haste might be later regretted.''
Mr Page yesterday said the proposal had not been accepted by
the court, which would have to consult other parties.
If it was accepted, the timetable would allow Betterways more
time to complete work continuing behind the scenes, the
details of which could not yet be made public, he said.
''There are a few things we need to do in order to know what
steps to take next.''
However, any decision not to proceed with the existing
proposal might not be the end of the project, Mr Page said.
''There are other options to consider but that's for Jing and
Ping to decide what they want to do,'' he said.
- This article originally said Environment Court mediation
had started. It has now been changed to reflect the fact that
mediation is yet to start.