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Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill was commenting as technical reports, prepared for his resource consent application, detailed the building’s impact on its surroundings.
As well as lost views for some neighbours immediately behind it, the 17-storey building, which would be 64m at its highest point, would cast a shadow over the Octagon on winter afternoons and funnel more wind down Moray Pl and Filleul St. As the public reacted to the project, the reports also confirmed the surrounding roads and other infrastructure could accommodate the development.
Mr Tosswill, in an email to the Otago Daily Times, said his team would try to address any "genuine objection" other than design or height.
The height limit for the site under the current district plan is 11m. Mr Tosswill accepted there would be "differences" over the building’s size, but a five-star hotel needed to be a "landmark".
"It must have views, as all do, it must be in a dominant position to service the community, business and tourists, [and] it must offer facilities.
"Without this a five-star hotel will not be viable in Dunedin or elsewhere," he said.
The design aimed to minimise the width of the building to reduce its impact on neighbours, but height ensured it could provide the 200 rooms needed by any five-star hotel, he said.
"Several designs were explored and we respectfully suggest we picked the best one."
It was "paramount" the community supported the project, and the growth of Dunedin, while catering for growing tourist numbers, he said.
"Being New Zealanders, we want to see growth and progress for our families and children. If we stop growth in hospitality and only do refits, we are [turning], and will, turn visitors away."
Mr Tosswill’s comments came as reports prepared by consultants for Mr Tosswill’s application detailed the technical considerations.
A shading assessment by Paterson Pitts Group showed the hotel’s shadow would stretch across the Octagon at winter solstice, between 2pm and 4pm, but cover only a few surrounding properties at summer solstice.
A wind report by JDH Consulting said the hotel’s three-tower design would reduce downwash, but its bulk could still funnel more wind down Filleul St and Moray Pl.
That could push wind speeds beyond recommended safety criteria, possibly disrupt the entrance door operation on some days, and potentially dislodge loose items on balconies, it said.
However, the company supported the development, saying Dunedin was already "quite a windy place" and it would be "difficult" for almost any "substantial" development to comply with wind speed criteria.
A transport assessment by Avanzar Consulting said Filleul St and Moray Pl could accommodate hotel traffic, which would be less than the vehicle movements associated with the site’s existing car park.
The hotel’s construction would cost the city 39 public and 102 leased car parks, as well as three on-street parks required to make way for a new hotel entrance off Moray Pl, it said.
The hotel would have 84 mainly below-ground car parks in the hotel’s basement levels, for use by guests and staff, and five above-ground coach parks.
The parking figures included four public car parks to cater for the hotel’s retail spaces and hot pools facility, which would be open to the public.
Vehicles would circle the hotel site in a clockwise direction and leave via a new Filleul St exit, connecting directly to the intersection’s proposed new roundabout.
The roundabout would also help reduce speeds and could be landscaped, helping improve the area’s urban design, it said.
A structural engineering report by GHD said piles could be driven into rock at the site, but groundwater would have "implications" for earthworks and the hotel’s levels that would be below ground level.
Three of the hotel’s 17 levels would be dug into the sloping site and partially underground, and a tower crane would be needed during construction, it said.
An infrastructure assessment, also by Paterson Pitts, said existing wastewater services could accommodate the hotel, but stormwater would need to be stored on site and released gradually to avoid "known stormwater flooding issues in the area".
A bore planned to provide artesian water for the hotel’s hot pools facility would require Otago Regional Council approval.The hotel’s water feature would largely rely on stormwater, and "green technology", including low-flow devices and the reusing grey water.