Restoration support vital: developer

The Dunedin City Council needs to keep supporting the restoration of the city's heritage buildings, serial building restorer Lawrie Forbes says.

Mr Forbes, who has been involved in the restoration of several of the city's heritage buildings, including the Athenaeum and most recently the McIndoe building on Vogel St, at Thursday night's hearing congratulated the council for the work it had done so far and urged it to keep going.

''By supporting and causing areas to regenerate you will actually [increase] rate takes.''

An example of this included his development of the McIndoe building, with council rates relief giving him ''crucial'' time to plan a new development, which was now paying dividends in terms of rate take.

The prospective buyer of the historic Reed Building, which he recently put up for sale, was planning to convert it into 10 studio apartments, which would also be great for the city's rate take.

On that note, like many other submitters on the 2014-15 draft annual plan, he supported the council going with its preferred and most expensive option, which involved increasing total funding assistance for heritage re-use projects to $370,000.

He also thanked the council for its support for a mural on the outside of the McIndoe building, saying the city had gained an ''icon'', which had only cost the council a ''free resource consent''.

Cr David Benson-Pope congratulated Mr Forbes for the work he was doing, saying he was one of the ''main drivers of the sort of change you are congratulating us for''.

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