'Delighted' to gain consent

Oliver's Restaurant owners Andrea and David Ritchie are ''delighted'' to have received resource consent from the Central Otago District Council to go ahead with plans to redevelop the premises.

The consent approval is the latest development in what has so far been a four-year project for the couple, who have experience in working with historic buildings such as Heritage New Zealand category 1 listed Oliver's.

Granted by the council hearings panel following a hearing on August 12, the decision was released to the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

Four conditions required by the consent included undertaking activities outlined in amended plans prepared by Jackie Gillies and Associates heritage architects, which were developed following opposition to some aspects of the original application.

The consent did not authorise any signs.

''There's still a lot of work to go on with and there's always the possibility, when dealing with old buildings, of something else arising but it's a step in the right direction.

"We'll take each bridge as we come to it,'' Mrs Ritchie said.

Plans for a craft brewery, cafe and bakery on the Oliver's premises would also include the restaurant previously on site re-opening.

Development will mean alterations to parts of the existing Oliver's Restaurant building and attached former garage, and demolition and replacement of an adjacent lean-to.

At present, accommodation is available on the premises.

Mrs Ritchie said she hoped building process would begin in a ''matter of weeks'', and expected work to be completed before winter 2015.

''We are not putting a deadline in place. Experience tells us that's not a good idea.''

Although resource consent had been granted, other permissions, such as planning consent, would be required for the further development of the buildings, and further resource consent for signs.

''Hopefully, they [the others] will be moved through fairly quickly.''

Mrs Ritchie did not expect any appeals to the consent, as 15 of the 17 submissions on their application were in support, and the two others supported the application with some changes.

Only those who had made a submission on the consent application and the applicants could make an appeal.

The appeal period runs for 15 days after the decision on the consent is received.


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