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The developer of a three-storey building providing ''higher standard'' accommodation in the heart of Dunedin's tertiary precinct has dismissed the claims of the project's single opponent.
The owners of the Campus Wonderful Store and a neighbouring cafe in Union St yesterday took the project to a Dunedin City Council resource consent hearing.
Lynley and Lucien Verkerk, of Verkerk Stores Ltd, plan to build two apartments on the middle and upper levels, each with three bedrooms.
That would be above the maximum permitted under the district plan, but the proposal was for one person per bedroom, as part of the tenancy agreement.
The Campus Wonderful Store and Fluid Espresso would be housed on the ground floor of the new building.
Council planner Melissa Shipman recommended last month resource consent for the plans be approved, saying the effects would be ''no more than minor''. Her decision had not changed by the end of the hearing.
Solicitor Charlotte Carr presented a submission on behalf of the owner of a neighbouring property, She Chun Choie, who opposed the consent being granted on grounds of a reduction of light, shading and reduction of airflow creating a damp environment.
There was also concern about privacy of residents.
Ms Carr said the proposed building would have adverse effects on the environment, but it could be supported under certain conditions.
Those were that a proposed retaining wall between the properties be constructed of beams, rather than solid material, to allow light and ventilation, that the building be 6m to 7m back from the boundary, that it be limited to two storeys, and that it complied with height plane regulations.
Architect Gary Todd, on behalf of the developer, told the hearing the single submitter against the development had added time and expense to the project.
In his right of reply, he said the submitter's conditions were ''not viable for us to consider.
The retaining wall in question was underground, meaning any changes would make no difference.
Three storeys for the building were allowed under the district plan rules.
''The submitter brought no evidence to support their opinions,'' he told the hearing of chairman Cr Lee Vandervis, Cr Andrew Whiley and Cr Mike Lord.
There had been criticism in the submission about the morning sun being blocked by the new building, but the Otago Polytechnic building across the road blocked the sun from both buildings.
Of the distance between the two buildings Mr Todd said there was a separation of 5.4m, ''very close to the 6m they are asking for''.
Council urban designer Peter Christos said the shading effects were ''very marginal''.
He supported the design, which was better than the current building which ''from a streetscape point of view does not define the corner''.
Ms Shipman said after hearing submissions she had not changed her mind.