Parking proposal dropped, Whiley frustrated

Dunedin City Councillor Andrew Whiley. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Dunedin city councillor Andrew Whiley. Photo: ODT files
Using the footprint of a demolished parking building as temporary free parking for Dunedin Hospital staff has been taken off the table.

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.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

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The hospital should never be built in this location. The Carisbook location would have been infinitely better.

Pete and his board have got to go. They are the problem. One wonders where they all park?

Not hard to see what, how and who are strangling our city with this issue.
A site that had a car parking building needs a consent to be a car park.
The site has already been fenced and is surrounded by existing street lighting but 'health and safety' are somehow an issue.
"Mr Hodgson disagreed with Cr Whiley’s"
Hodgson and Co, need to go !!!!

Hodgson is an impediment to this city. Time for him to go.
A consent for a carpark will be easy because there are numerous ones in the immediate area already.
Build the carpark Hodgson and stop talking about Jetsons-style autonomous cars as a solution.

It is more than a bit rich for anyone from DCC to complain about lack of parking anywhere in Dunedin. This is the organisation that is removing parking on an almost weekly basis because we all need to hitch a ride to get our groceries.
And to think Hodgson would support any form of parking is equally unlikely. He still believes our self-drive cars will be here any day now and those cars will drop us off and then return home. Of course he is so far out of reality he thinks everyone will be able to afford such a vehicle if they even existed. Truly loopy greens idea.

But I think the real reason for this decision is SDHB don't want to provide any parking, staff or public. A temporary staff car park would provide a precedent with that park needing to be replaed with permanent parking.

$35k for a consent to use an empty lot for a carpark?? That is utterly outrageous.

A temporary space for at best three months. What’s the point…stupid idea not worth wasting time on.

If they had any consideration for hospital staff, they would have built it into their development plan so the space had some value with all the disruption that is coming.
The smell of superiority permeated this project from the get go.

Frustrated much, its like there must be a election coming up, can't say I have heard much from this Joe Bloggs in the previous years, must be searching for votes. Get a real job

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