Boost for city's urban design, heritage

Urban design and heritage in Dunedin has received a substantial boost, with three new urban designers and a heritage policy planner bolstering the ranks of the Dunedin City Council.

The appointments are expected to help shine a light on design in the city, influencing council policies and helping preventing "concrete block igloos" being built beside heritage buildings.

Strategy and development general manager Kate Styles said the city development team would be fully staffed by mid-August.

Planning and environment committee chairman Michael Guest said the planning policy area of the council had been "understaffed for some years".

The council was reviewing planning for both North Dunedin and South Dunedin and was considering urban design controls and putting in place an urban design panel, both areas where the new staff could be involved.

Cr Guest said the council had to be able to prevent the building of "concrete block igloos beside buildings which exude historic and heritage character in Dunedin".

There was a tension between private rights and public expectations, but Cr Guest said public expectations were important in the Dunedin setting.

Cr Fliss Butcher also heralded the appointments.

"I think it's an excellent idea."

Cr Butcher said she wanted to see urban designers involved in the resource consent process to stop some of the "mismatch" that was occurring.

New appointments:
Principal urban designer:
Steven Miles
Urban designer: Mike Daffern
Urban design special project manager: Emma Burford
Policy planner (heritage): Glen Hazelton

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