Developer unveils new plans for Roslyn fire station

The former Roslyn fire station. Photo from ODT files.
The former Roslyn fire station. Photo from ODT files.
Plans for more commercial development inside the former Roslyn fire station are again raising the ire of some neighbours, despite initial support for the project from the Dunedin City Council.

Roslyn Fire Station Ltd has applied for land use consent to add a commercial cafe and physiotherapy gymnasium to the building, and will make its case before the council hearings committee next week.

The proposal - the latest in a series of redevelopment plans featuring the former fire station - has attracted 12 submissions, including five from neighbours opposed to the project.

The former fire station is already home to seven residential apartments and a boutique day spa business, Erban Spa, despite concerns raised by some neighbours at the time.

In 2008, RM Designs also won consent to use the building for a restaurant, cafe and bar development - including outdoor dining and rooftop drinking spaces - despite some neighbours' concerns, but shelved the plans when faced with an Environment Court appeal the following year.

In the latest proposal, the building's fire hall and one apartment would be converted into a commercial cafe, with dining area, lounge, kitchen and bathroom facilities, a report by council planner Lianne Darby said.

The gymnasium would be added in unused parts of the building's basement, and operate in conjunction with the nearby Roslyn Physiotherapy Clinic, the report said.

The cafe would operate seven days a week, from 7am to 10pm on weekdays and 8am-10pm on weekends, but would not have a liquor licence.

The building was zoned residential and the application was considered a non-complying activity under the council's district plan.

However, the report recommended consent be granted, with conditions including that the cafe would not be a licensed premises, to avoid it becoming a bar "even if by default".

The report said the building was located next to the Roslyn local activity zone - the suburb's shopping area - and, while not suited to residential use, was "not inappropriate" for commercial use, it said.

As well as allowing more public access inside the building, commercial use would also help ensure it continued to be used and maintained, the report said.

Roslyn Fire Station Ltd was headed by director Nicholas Beach, of Mosgiel, and four other directors and shareholders from Dunedin and Wanaka, Companies Office records showed.

Mr Beach has also written to neighbours as part of consultation with 50 parties - including nearby Roslyn residents and business owners - alerting them to the company's plans and seeking their views.

The consultation showed the majority of those contacted supported the project, with concerns raised about parking and noise able to be addressed, the company's consent application said.

The latest plan will be considered by the council's hearings committee of chairman Cr Colin Weatherall and Crs Andrew Noone and Kate Wilson on Tuesday.


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