Award for heritage buildings

An award has been established to recognise Dunedin building owners or developers who "sympathetically" re-use heritage buildings in the city.

The Dunedin City Council has come under fire for its policies dealing with built heritage.

The proposed demolition of a group of Princes St buildings is the latest issue to attract publicity.

The council set up a steering group last year to investigate methods to encourage restoration and re-use of privately owned heritage buildings.

At last week's council planning and environment committee meeting, councillors agreed to put $4000 towards the heritage buildings award scheme.

Heritage policy planner Glen Hazelton said in a report to the committee building owners undertaking major restoration often did so at "significant financial risk", and received little recognition.

An awards system would allow the council to recognise owners and developers who contributed to the council's goal of encouraging the re-use of heritage buildings.

He proposed two awards, one for actual projects, with a $1500 prize, and another $500 award for designs from design students or firms for the re-use of buildings that were "under-utilised".

The latter award would seek designs to "showcase the potential" of chosen buildings that were either council-owned, or privately owned, where the owner was interested in participating.

With an award ceremony and other costs, the system would cost $4000.

Mr Hazelton told the committee that amount would "kick off"' the system and he hoped sponsors could be attracted to further develop the awards.

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