Development plan agreement closer

Agreement on a contested plan to build an apartment and retail development in a protected Dunedin townscape appears to be edging closer.

Environment Court staff in Christchurch yesterday confirmed they were awaiting consent documents from the parties, which could result in a compromise agreement in negotiations over the planned development at 372-392 Princes St and 11 Stafford St.

The development planned by Luke Dirkzwager, of Prista Apartments in Christchurch, had been approved by the Dunedin City Council in 2010, after years of debate and public consultation.

However, it stalled again when the New Zealand Historic Places Trust appealed against the decision, prompting other parties to join the proceedings, and there have been few outward signs of progress since.

Discussions between lawyers representing Mr Dirkzwager and the trust have been continuing, while other parties have been kept informed.

Yesterday, the ODT was told agreement on a compromise was edging closer, although it would require agreement from all parties.

Mr Dirkzwager remained tight-lipped yesterday, saying only talks were continuing and he could not say if an agreement was any closer.

He had hoped to reach an agreement by the end of January that would avoid the need for a court hearing, but said yesterday the parties were ''not yet there''.

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