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The Ministry of Health has today been granted a resource consent to demolish several factory buildings and facades in Cumberland St.
The facades are considered to have heritage value but, in his decision, hearings commissioner Gary Rae said their loss was unavoidable.
Everybody involved in the case agreed there was no reasonable alternative to demolition if building the new hospital went ahead, and the probability of it proceeding was high, he said.
Mr Rae said the hospital would bring significant benefits to the community.
Programme Director Mike Barns said it was major step forward for the project as the entire hospital site could now be cleared for the new hospital by June 2021.
“We’re very pleased consent has been granted and I’d like to acknowledge all the support from the community for the project and the new hospital,” Mr Barns said.
“We’ve been very aware of the concerns raised about the heritage aspects of the Cadbury factory. We’re taking every step we reasonably can to mitigate these.
“This includes retaining the historic Dairy Building at the south-east corner of the site. We will also undertake a detailed photographic and video building recording of the Cadbury factory buildings by a qualified heritage practitioner.
“Today’s milestone shows the project is finishing the year with real progress. Demolition of the Outpatients Building site is on track for completion by Christmas, and having now secured this consent, the entire hospital site is expected to be cleared by June next year.
“This is great news for Dunedin and the Southern region. The new Dunedin Hospital will transform how healthcare is delivered across the region, improving health outcomes for New Zealanders for decades to come.
“The new Dunedin Hospital project also offers many opportunities for jobs and businesses, and will support Dunedin’s long term urban renewal plan,” he said.
Restored building to remain
The former Dairy and Machine House building at the site will not be demolished.
In the end, no parties were opposed to the ministry's application for demolition and they agreed on a set of conditions.
The ministry will have to submit a demolition management plan and a plan for removing asbestos from the site.
It will also have to make sure there are no adverse effects on the structural integrity or heritage values of surrounding heritage buildings - particularly the machine house building and the Allied Press building.
Allied Press - publisher of the Otago Daily Times - withdrew its opposition to the application before the November 2 hearing.
The ministry will need to take steps to minimise noise and vibration during demolition, as well as manage traffic and control dust and sediment.
Allied Press had earlier raised concerns about the potential for dust and vibration to affect the printing press.
The demolition consent period is for five years.
If the ministry does not apply for a building consent within four years, it will need to do some landscaping at the site.
There will be no work at night, on Sundays or public holidays, unless emergency work is required to protect public safety.
Some materials may be salvaged to retain items of heritage.