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Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill had earlier ruled out an Environment Court appeal, after a panel of independent commissioners rejected his plan for a 17-storey hotel and apartment tower late last month.
However, speaking late yesterday afternoon, Mr Tosswill said he had changed his mind and would lodge an appeal within days.
The aim was to see if parties could reach an agreement on a revised design which lowered the building to 12 storeys above ground, through Environment Court mediation, he said.
His decision came despite the lengthy process to date, stretching back two years, which had left Mr Tosswill with a bill already ''well above'' $300,000, he said.
Mr Tosswill said he was not prepared to give up just yet.
''What we are not doing is letting this drop, and I won't go away,'' he said.
He took issue with the panel's decision to focus on shading impacts on the nearby Kingsgate, and also the ability of two commercial rivals to influence the outcome.
''The more I find out about the process and the manner of the hearing, the more I get annoyed about it and the more frustrated I get,'' Mr Tosswill said yesterday.
''It's starting to, quite frankly, annoy me.''
Millennium & Copthorne, which owns the Kingsgate Hotel, and Misbeary Holdings Ltd, which listed Lani Hagaman, of the Scenic Circle Group, as a director, had both sent lawyers to argue against the development.
Mr Tosswill said the panel had allowed competing ''commercial interests'' to restrict the growth of Dunedin.
''To me, that's wrong. That's just plain, outright wrong.''
The hotel's revised design had already been presented during the consent hearing, but the panel had decided it could consider only the original application, which envisaged a 17-storey building.
Mr Tosswill said the revised design addressed the concerns raised by independent experts, and he was surprised the panel had opted to overlook the changes.
He hoped court mediation could reach an agreement between parties, although the competing commercial interests could stand in the way of that as well.
A fresh consent application for the revised design could also be submitted, if mediation failed.
''I only want to spend the money, after all I've spent, if it's a necessary spend,'' Mr Tosswill said.
Andrew Noone, chairman of the independent panel which rejected consent, said it would be inappropriate to comment on the appeal.
''He's exercising his right to appeal. That's the process, so it's totally inappropriate for me to comment because the appeal has been lodged.''
Mr Tosswill's announcement came two years after talks between him and council representatives began, leading to a consent application filed in April.
The hotel, to be built on the Filleul St car park site opposite the Dunedin Town Hall, was deemed non-complying under district plan rules and attracted 271 submitters, including 206 opposed to it.
The panel, in rejecting consent, cited ''significant'' concerns, including height and visual dominance, which would see the building towering over neighbouring heritage buildings and casting a midwinter shadow over the Octagon and Kingsgate.
Mr Tosswill has until October 19 to lodge his appeal.