Review of rules sought by venue lobby group

David Bennett, at the Crown Hotel yesterday, organised a meeting to keep live music venues alive...
David Bennett, at the Crown Hotel yesterday, organised a meeting to keep live music venues alive in Dunedin. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A Dunedin group fighting for the viability of music venues in the city centre says it will call on the Dunedin City Council to review rules around soundproofing and insulation.

Save Dunedin Local Music spokesman David Bennett hosted a public meeting at the Crown Hotel yesterday to address a proposed development in Rattray St, which many feel could put the future of the venue at risk.

"The Crown is the heart and soul of the music community, it’s a place with no barriers," Mr Bennett said.

Mr Bennett addressed a crowd of more than 40 people, and said the group’s lawyer had found the council and developers had done nothing wrong in granting resource consent for the mixed-use commercial and residential property planned for next door.

However, the group, which has worked with the council for the past 18 months, only found out about the "threat" to the venue after the consent was granted, through an Otago Daily Times article.

The developer applied for non-notified consent and was deemed to have met the requirements to do so, Mr Bennett said.

Technically, the council was right.

"Building modestly insulated apartments directly next to a live music venue is within the rules of the 2GP, our current district plan."

The sound issue was not being brought up in the consent process and the special character of areas with music venues was not a factor.

"That’s a problem from the base level that we need to address," Mr Bennett said.

The group was concerned an apartment building going up next to the Crown Hotel could restrict it from operating as a music venue due to noise complaints from nearby residents.

The city had lost too many good music venues already and one more was too much.

Venues needed to be protected by regulations allowing certain volumes and types of sound at particular times, he said.

The group plans to challenge the council to amend the consent regulations and the district plan.

They would also contact the developers of the Rattray St apartments to voice their concerns.

A rally for Save Dunedin Live Music would be held on August 7 in the Octagon, he said.

--  Cas Saunders