The Otago Chamber of Commerce opposes residential
development of a historic Dunedin building - arguing the
proposal has shades of the costly and largely aborted
But building owner Russell Lund has struck back, accusing the
chamber of ''knee-jerk nimbyism''.
Thirteen submissions supported the proposed redevelopment of
the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co Ltd building,
while four were opposed and one was neutral.
Chamber chief executive John Christie said, in the chamber's
submission, that it opposed mixed use of the building, in
Thomas Burns St, as it was within the Port 2 zone.
If resource consent is approved, Mr Lund plans to restore the
exterior of the category 2 142-year-old building and
redevelop the second floor into a 24-unit apartment complex.
''Previously, the chamber opposed the council's plan change
7, which was looking to rezone harbourside land to mixed use,
as existing jobs could be lost along with any future job
prospects,'' Mr Christie said in the submission.
''After a long process of mediation ... it was agreed that
the north side of the harbour basin was best kept for
''It would be disappointing to see individual consents
The harbourside plan change - which resulted in a smaller
area south of the Steamer Basin being rezoned to mixed use,
while industrial land to the north was spared - led to
protracted negotiations between the council and affected
parties and, eventually, cost ratepayers more than $2.6
Mr Christie told the Otago Daily Times yesterday the
chamber was not opposed to redevelopment of the building,
only the proposed residential use.
The chamber was concerned about the residential
redevelopment, given its proximity to businesses and land
with heavy industrial uses and the effect residential
development could have.
''We aren't opposed to it [just] to be opposed to it. We just
want to protect the jobs the city is struggling to retain,''
Mr Lund said he ''cannot understand how the Chamber of
Commerce can want to stop this application in its tracks when
the businesses most affected adopt a more reasonable
Consent was also opposed by Kaan's Catering Supplies Ltd,
ESCO Dunedin Pty Ltd and Farra Engineering Ltd. All were
concerned about reverse sensitivity of allowing residential
property in a heavy industrial zone.
Port Otago submitted the application should be refused or
granted with strict conditions, including that residents
agree to a ''no-complaints covenant'' to show they were aware
of the noisy external environment.
''The chamber is supposed to promote development in Dunedin,
not indulge in knee-jerk nimbyism,'' Mr Lund said.
''What use do they propose for the building?
''The building is deteriorating, it needs a use, some
attention, money and TLC to preserve its future,'' Mr Lund
It was ''zero hour'' for the building and ''an economic
imperative'' that a sustainable use was found for it soon, he
Dunedin City Council resource consents manager Alan
Worthington said a recommending report was being prepared and
a consent hearing would be held on Tuesday, August 19,
starting at 9am.
A decision would be made within 15 working days of the
hearing, he said.