A South Dunedin community backlash has forced the Dunedin
City Council to delay its decision on the sale of a public car
park, after the bungled process infuriated both a theatre and
the area's business association.
Council acting chief executive Tony Avery said while tenders
for the property closed yesterday, no decision would be made
''for a week or two''.
Southern Wide Real Estate, tasked with selling the property,
has admitted making a mistake in not notifying those
affected, and apologised.
The Mayfair Theatre learnt on Monday a neighbouring public
car park on the corner of King Edward St and Cameron St used
by patrons was for sale, with tenders closing in four days.
The issue followed anger from Caledonian Bowling Club
members, who last Friday learnt the council is to sell the
Andersons Bay Rd land on which the 135-year-old club sits.
The council plans to sell up to 150 plots of surplus land and
property over the next two to three years in a move expected
to raise about $10 million, targeted for paying off debt.
South Dunedin Business Association president Jane Orbell said
the organisation had ''considerable concern'' about the
At council annual plan submission hearings for several years,
the association had raised concerns parking was becoming ''an
increasing problem'' in South Dunedin, and had urged a more
strategic approach to developing longer-term parking options.
''The loss of any council-owned land in South Dunedin, albeit
not optimally located in relation to retail activity at
present, is short-sighted in the extreme,'' Ms Orbell said.
Business people in the area could not understand why the
council was selling the land.
''The council has been talking about if and when we get our
library, and there is a continuous problem with parking out
here,'' Ms Orbell said.
When the council made alterations to beautify the main
street, the association had asked for more policing of
''That hasn't been happening regularly enough to stop people
parking all day on 120-minute parks.''
The association ''wants some consultation'', she said.
Mr Avery said he had received the concerns of the Mayfair.
The council had also received ''other emails and comments
from people'', including from the business association.
''What I've said is we won't make any decision on whether to
proceed with the sale or not till we've properly considered
those, which will take a week or two.''
The sale had been delegated to chief executive Sue Bidrose,
who returns from leave next week, Mr Avery said. The decision
would be ''up to the chief exec''.
Southern Wide has responded to criticism from the council
about its lack of communication with those near the car park.
Mayor Dave Cull said earlier this week the company had been
instructed to inform the Mayfair the car park was going on
the market, but had not done so.
Asked why the estate agency should have that role, Mr Cull
said the agent was being paid to market and sell the
''I would like to know why it has not been carried out.''
Southern Wide commercial sales agent Terry Senior said the
council did ask the company to ''let them [the Mayfair] know
early that it was for sale''.
That had not been done, he said.
''We've taken that on the chin and apologised.''