Trying to help Betterways Advisory Ltd build a five-star
hotel has so far cost the Dunedin City Council more than
$200,000, it has been confirmed.
The spending - including the cost of consultants, lawyers and
a discount on consent fees - covered the period since
resource consent for Betterways' proposed $100 million,
five-star hotel was declined last year.
The total was confirmed by council infrastructure and
networks general manager Tony Avery in response to Otago
Daily Times questions yesterday.
The council had spent $140,000 on consultant and planning
advice and other costs, including on free planning advice
offered to Betterways by Mayor Dave Cull following last
year's decision to decline consent.
Betterways' bill for the consent application and hearing
process, which totalled about $128,000, had also been
discounted by $58,541 after the hearing ended, he said.
That decision was made by then chief executive Paul Orders to
show ''support'' and ''good faith'' to the hotel's
developers, Mr Avery said.
''It was also recognising that we wanted to try and work with
them to ...get a $100 million five-star hotel built,'' he
In addition, the council had spent about $11,000 on initial
preparations for a possible Environment Court hearing, after
Betterways appealed last year's decision to decline consent,
before a memorandum of understanding was signed last month.
That brought the total cost to the council to nearly
$210,000, but Mr Avery said it still compared favourably with
the $300,000 estimated cost to the council of an Environment
It was done in an effort to negate the need for an appeal, he
said. However, with the hotel project scrapped on Monday and
Betterways' appeal still live - while Ms Song refused to say
what her next legal move would be - Mr Avery would not say it
was money well spent.
''Obviously, it was money to help Betterways identify a hotel
option that would work. Clearly, that's not achieved its