Dippie critical of Dunedin district plan

Allan Dippie
Allan Dippie
A leading Otago developer has criticised Dunedin's new district plan.

Allan Dippie said yesterday a lack of greenfields sites meant it would be a struggle to generate the property development the city needed.

Mr Dippie, who has developed residential subdivisions in areas including Wanaka and Mosgiel, said the city needed residential-zoned land for developers to build on.

Dunedin City Council city development manager Anna Johnson said yesterday there was residential land provided in the second-generation district plan (2GP) to be released soon, but she could not give details until the document was completed and released.

Mr Dippie was responding to news work has begun to identify land and developers for about 400 new houses needed as the city's population grows and plans ramp up for Dunedin's new hospital.

The council said recently it was taking a lead role in the work, and would look at land it and other agencies owned for possible building sites.

Mr Dippie said the city's had a shortage of residential property and "real estate people tell me this is pushing prices up and making property harder to buy for many people".

It was reported this week Dunedin houses were at a record high median price, and the city was short of housing stock.

Mr Dippie said trying to build on land not already zoned residential was hard, as developments had to go through a resource consent process where council planners would usually argue they were non-compliant, so should not be allowed.

A study of greenfields opportunities should have been done to identify the possibilities, risks and advantages of rezoning land.

Mr Dippie said there were almost no greenfields sites in the 2GP, which, once it came in, would be in place for at least 10 years.

"It couldn't have been a worse document."

It had sent a signal to development companies like his "not to do too much, but concentrate on other areas in Otago and Southland".

Dr Johnson said a report on the timing of the plan was expected later this month.

The 2GP website notes decisions on the plan will be released at the end of next month.

Dr Johnson said because those decisions had not been finalised it was not possible to give details, but there would "absolutely" be more residential land included in the new plan.

The plan included what had been called "general residential transition zones", where urban growth could occur in future.

Submitters had asked for greenfields areas and it was likely some would be "considered favourably".

As well, the Government's national policy statement on urban development, which set out a standard formula and methodology for considering supply and demand, was considered during the hearing.

"That will inevitably drive further consideration of areas if the numbers show we don't have enough."


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I can't understand why the council is so averse to residential developments in a city. I just lost a lot of money trying to get through a consent for some house sites. The plan was very sympathetic to the site. It included the planting of thousands of trees. It would have provided an economic boost, some nice houses and biodiversity improvements. The planning fundamentals were good, the local community were positive about it. The council wasn't. The lesson I learned the hard way was to invest elsewhere.

ODT reader obviously you are not part of the DOBC (Dunedin Old Boy Club) or Old money Club I've heard about in Dunedin the place needs a wide brush stroke to clear the table.

Audit the council see who owns the land where future sub divisions will be, sounds like a set up to make some people rich if you ask me

Is this the same Dippie who insisted on building on the Taieri Flood plain? I'm not convinced that someone who has made a fortune building bare minimum standard housing in questionable locations really gets to complain, especially when they live in Wanaka.

Here here! Completely agree.


All that property developers are interested in is their own fat cat profits. Not the social good. It is time for Dunedin to utilise and enhance it's inner suburbs. Go UP not out. That's what them most beautiful send advanced cities do. They focus on keeping their cities compact and user friendly for transport, amenities, culture and "bump space" (where they create spaces and places for people to meet to stave off loneliness e.g. good parks).

Where will the green spaces be for our kids to explore? We had those green spaces as kids. They are being swallowed up by developers making private profit.

Let's not make the stupid mistake of total sprawl on to our beautiful remaining green spaces! Future generations will be so disappointed if we take those green places away for ugly, inefficient subdivisions that only really benefit the private developers. Private profit. Societal loss. We pay for their profits.

We need to **keep** remaining green space for food security!Where will we grow our food in 50 years if developers have used our fertile lands to profit privately?Food security!! We need to think socially&forwards. Not just about developers' profits&ppl wanting big "new"plots.

How about some balanced editorial, rather than just giving air and promotional space to private millionaires aiming only to increase their private fortune. A fair bit of unbalanced lobbying going on in the newspaper articles, articles that are fully pro "development" (ie "development" = using pristine agricultural and horticultural land to develop large, inefficient dwellings on -- needlessly large and poorly designed because builders persuade owners it'd "cheaper per metre"). Waste on top of waste on our pristine land. That agricultural and horticultural land is a treasure and food basket for future generations.

Yet we pander to these millionaires. And give them major, unbalanced lobbying space to push their private profit agenda in newspapers.

How about a balanced one or two page feature on this critical issue, ODT? So dunedinites get both sides and can have properly informed opinions on this crucial issue: we are at a critical junction, and decisions will reverberate for future generations.

Please don't give your very influential newspaper space, that has significant impact on peoples' hearts and minds, to millionaires out to increase their fortune ...

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