Developer silent on hotel plans

The man behind a contentious bid to build a five-star hotel in Dunedin is refusing to say whether he will continue his push for the project.

Anthony Tosswill  told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he was not prepared to discuss his hotel because of previous media coverage, which he claimed had turned the public against the project.

He would not comment when asked repeatedly to say whether he was pressing ahead or giving up.

Others contacted by the ODT also said they had not heard from Mr Tosswill since May, when he withdrew an Environment Court appeal against an earlier decision to decline consent for an earlier design.

Mr Tosswill said at the time he had "no choice" but to go back to the drawing board by developing a "whole new design".

He had planned to prepare a fresh application, possibly by way of a request for direct referral to the court.

Environment Court staff confirmed this week nothing had been received since then, and they had heard nothing from Mr Tosswill or his team.

Neither had Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull or Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan, they told the ODT.

Council resource consents manager Alan Worthington said a new application had not been received "and I am not aware of progress on lodging one".

Mr McGowan said Mr Tosswill had been talking "positively" earlier in the year, and "hopefully that’s still the case".

The city needed the development to cater for growing conference and events markets, he said.

"More development in the city is always good, and it’s about future-proofing the city as well.

"But the reality is we haven’t heard [from Mr Tosswill], which is never a good sign," he said.

Mr Tosswill, speaking in May, would not confirm his next steps or give a timeline, but said he was "going to give Dunedin one more chance".

His comments came after a panel of independent commissioners last year declined consent for an earlier hotel design, prompting Mr Tosswill’s appeal to the Environment Court. Mediation talks were adjourned earlier this year to allow a revised design to be tabled in an attempt to reach agreement. Mr Tosswill unveiled a revised design in May, but said even he was not happy with the "terrible" changes, which were panned by the public in an ODT online poll.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

Fair enough Mr Tosswill and good on you!! Seriously Come on what do you honestly expect- lets think we'll stuff you around, push you, poke you, muck you around, treat you like crap for trying to do a good thing. The gentleman had a vision for Dunedin wanted to bring much needed employment and an awesome Hotel to Dunedin for its people and sure make money. How rude of Bidrose, Cull and McGowan even to make a small comment like that. From a person who escaped Dunedin in 1988 at 17, returned in 2015 to live for 18 months thinking it will be great to return and left again, I feel so privileged to have traveled the world and seen and lived in other places and witnessed how Dunedin could be and how narrow minded people are in Dunedin, its like the North Korea of New Zealand.

It seems your ranting knows no bounds.

Mr Toswill did indeed have a vision, unfortunately it was not one the majority of people in Dunedin shared. Get over it.

Mr Toswill has not been "treated like crap". He went through a proper process and wasn't successful - nothing personal about that. Again, get over it.

What rude comment did BIdrose , Cull and Mc Gowan make? The ODT obviously asked them a question and they answered it. You are clearly reading way too much into it.

And to compare Dunedin with North Korea is nothing but a display of incredible ignorance on your part.

The fact that you "escaped" from Dunedin tells me you have never really liked it here anyway. Feel free to remain escaped prisoner. Most of us love this city, warts and all.

Of course it's not a good sign, but because so many consents for this sort of thing get opposed or declined in Dunedin, is why hotel builders aren't tripping over themselves to try get something built.

Can't blame them really...

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