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More of a can-do attitude from the Dunedin City Council will go a long way towards encouraging more inner-city development, a housing summit was told.
Those comments were made by Dunedin lawyer Anthony Hamel who was speaking about the joys and pitfalls of developing property in Dunedin's inner-city at the summit yesterday.
He was responding to a question from city development manager Dr Anna Johnson about what the council could do to encourage more inner-city development.
"I got quite a lot of feedback from developers and I'm sorry, I believe what the council must do, is they must become more open when developers come to them with ideas."
Instead of telling developers what they could not do, the council needed to be more open and work with those trying to build more housing in the city centre, often in heritage buildings, he said.
There needed to be a development ombudsman who could help developers navigate the different requirements and regulations at the council, he said.
That suggestion received a round of applause from many of those who were attending the summit.
"The feedback I'm getting, and it's really an attitude thing, is it's not necessarily rules that council are dealing with often. What developers get frustrated about is not the money but the detail of it."
"Give them a hug!"
It was hard for council staff as they all had their specific roles, but there needed to be someone to help developers, which former Dunedin heritage policy planner Glen Hazelton was successful at.
"What he did was talk to the developers and said how can I help you, and you need that again."