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A public resource consent hearing will begin on Monday to consider arguments for and against the five-star hotel and apartment tower proposed for Moray Pl.
Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill’s plan has attracted 265 submissions, including 206 opposed.
Supporters argue the hotel would deliver much-needed economic benefits to the city, but opponents worry about its visual dominance, shading and blocked views.
A report by independent planner Nigel Bryce, to be considered at the hearing, has recommended consent be declined unless the developer agrees to a four-storey "substantial reduction" in the building’s height.
An assessment by consultant urban designer Garth Falconer also acknowledged the height hurdles ahead of the project.
At 60m high, the 17-storey hotel would be "significantly" the tallest building in the central city, exceeding the 50m-high spires of St Paul’s Cathedral and the 10-storey Forsyth Barr and Burns House buildings.
It would also stretch well beyond the 11m height limit set for the site in Dunedin’s district plan and the 16m limit proposed in the city’s second-generation district plan.
The hearing was expected to continue until Friday, but could make use of two further back-up days if needed.
Mr Tosswill, in a statement released by his lawyer, Phil Page, has already ruled out a reduction in the hotel’s height, saying the project would "not be viable" with such a change.
The hearing starts at 9.30am in the Municipal Chambers’ Edinburgh Room.