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The idea appeared to have momentum at the start of winter, but it has now been dropped.
Southern District Health Board (SDHB) chairman Pete Hodgson said after it was investigated, particularly the short-term nature of the proposed use of the former Wilson car park site, in Cumberland St, did not add up.
However, Dunedin city councillor Andrew Whiley said he was frustrated by the lack of interest shown by the SDHB for using the site before construction of the new Dunedin Hospital began next year.
He had pushed for a temporary car park for hospital staff at the cleared Wilson Block from the beginning of this year, he said.
If the cleared site had been reconfigured for up to 80 temporary car parks for hospital staff, it would have eased parking congestion for others in the city.
But more importantly, Cr Whiley said, a temporary car park would have provided hospital staff with convenient parking at a time when they were under great pressure.
Cr Whiley yesterday accused the SDHB of being more interested in putting up "road blocks" than seriously investigating the suggestion.
"That’s my cynical view of it, unfortunately," Cr Whiley said.
"The hospital staff are under pressure in so many ways and I would have thought this would have been a great way for the SDHB to show the staff some love."
Cr Whiley provided the Otago Daily Times with an email chain from a member of the public with New Dunedin Hospital construction director Andrew Holmes and programme director Mike Barns that appears to show plans progressing well in June, before being dropped by last week.
Mr Holmes told the member of the public last week some discussions remained about the possible use of the space for gold coin parking during events, or during Christmas shopping.
But a consent was required if the site was to be used at "scale" for parking.
Aside from an expected cost of $35,000 for the consent, there were also potential health and safety issues that "responsible bodies", which the temporary car park had been offered to, were concerned about, he said.
Cr Whiley dismissed those concerns.
"It’s another way of saying, ‘Let’s put all the road blocks we can in front of it, so it can’t happen.’
"This was going to be something positive ... it has some really good outcomes on a temporary basis."
Cr Whiley also provided the ODT with an email from Dunedin City Council resource consents manager Alan Worthington to him on Friday, which he said shows the site was subject to existing use rights, and that a car park would be a permitted activity.
Mr Hodgson disagreed with Cr Whiley’s assessment.
"That’s not the advice we received from his council," the SDHB chairman said.
The idea of providing temporary parking at the site was given "a pretty good examination", Mr Hodgson said.
It would have required a resource consent, temporary lighting and other costs, he said.
The main factor was that outpatient building contractors were expected to need access to the site to begin groundworks from about the last week in January.
"Opening a car park for just a few months did not strike us as particularly sensible," Mr Hodgson said.
A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said the council would try to comment today.