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The conversion of Dunedin's warehouse precinct into a place to ''live, work and play'' should be easier following a significant change in zoning rules, the Dunedin City Council says.
Until now, the redevelopment of the precinct's ageing warehouse heritage buildings has been held back by its existing large-scale retail zoning.
That was designed for big box retailers, but was considered incompatible with the warehouse precinct's development, council city development manager Anna Johnson said.
''Really, that's not the type of development we'd like to see there [the warehouse precinct].
''Most of the buildings, in order to be a large-scale retail activity, would involve having to demolish multiple buildings to create a site big enough.
''There's only a few buildings that actually have a footprint of that scale, in that area. A number of them would be below that threshold.''
Under the second generation district plan (2GP), the area would be covered by a new warehouse precinct zone with more relaxed rules for land use, development and the reuse of heritage buildings, she said.
That included making retail and office developments permitted activities in protected heritage buildings within the precinct, she said.
''It's encouraging people to reuse the buildings, rather than demolish them to build a new building.''
That would encourage the development of the area as a ''live, work, play-type environment'' without requiring consent hearings, she said.
''The entire aspiration for the area is quite different.
''If the ultimate vision for the area is to be this 'live-work-play' [area] then the plan rules should support that, rather than force people through a consent process that costs them time and money and maybe puts some people off doing their projects.''