Dunedin Hotel, 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212)

All submitters received a letter dated 2 November 2012 from Dunedin City Council informing them of the dates on which the Hearings Committee will consider the Betterways Advisory Ltd’s resource consent application for 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin.

The council hearings committee is Cr Colin Weatherall (chairman), Cr Andrew Noone and Cr Kate Wilson. Submissions will be heard in the Edinburgh Room, Municipal Chambers.

Hearing dates:
Monday 3 December 2012 – 9am to 5pm
Tuesday 4 December 2012 – 9am to 5pm
Wednesday 5 December 2012 – 10am to 7.30pm
Thursday 6 December 2012 – 9am to 5pm

And if required:
Monday 17 December 2012 – 9am to 5pm
Tuesday 18 December 2012 – 9am to 5pm
Wednesday 19 December 2012 – 9am to 5pm

It is anticipated the applicant will present for the first day and part of the second day. Submitters are likely to commence their presentations from 2pm on Tuesday 4 December.

Altogether, there were 508 public submissions. Not all submitters wish to be heard. That’s right, the applicant has about a day and a half to present substantively; submitters get 10 minutes each. Such is the democratic process.

The intention must be that if the Council grants consent – red carpet – then we take it to the Environment Court on appeal.

There has been no cost benefit analysis for the proposed hotel. Given the shortcomings of the site, neither the Applicant or the Dunedin City Council have declared the potential costs, including infrastructure services costs, of this project to ratepayers. There’s quite a lot the Council isn’t saying publicly; and quite a lot it’s saying, politically, behind closed doors to the applicant, we hear.

The Application: (DCC webpages)
Current notified applications
LUC-2012-212 (Betterways Advisory Limited) – all documents


Published on May 13, 2012 by DunedinNZofficial

Dunedin lawyer Steve Rodgers said he remained convinced the hotel would be a “game-changer” for Dunedin and was “98.2%” confident it would win approval at next month’s resource consent hearing.

### ODT Online Sat, 10 Nov 2012
Hotel project spokesman confident of go-ahead
By Chris Morris
The man acting as the public face for a proposed 28-storey waterfront hotel in Dunedin says the project remains “full steam ahead” despite a public outcry. However, Dunedin lawyer Steve Rodgers – the director of Betterways Advisory Ltd, the company fronting the development – would not rule out changes to the hotel’s design, but hoped a fight through the Environment Court could be avoided.
Read more

Related Posts:
8.9.12 Waterfront Hotel #Dunedin (Applicant names?)
7.9.12 Waterfront hotel: DCC to notify resource consent application
16.5.12 Dunedin Hotel

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

49 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design

49 responses to “Dunedin Hotel, 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212)

  1. At 2.50 in that video they are missing something, are we moving the railway lines?

    Well that was one of several. What else have they hidden from their clients?

  2. Who’s the muppet that did http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/279352/LUC-2012-212-12.-Viewpoint-booklet.pdf ???

    I reckon it must be done by some council consultant. Got a sore neck now.

  3. Elizabeth

    Confused? The Hotel – expressed as 27 or 28 [ODT] storeys, give or take roof elements.

    The application states (Anderson & Co, Executive Summary, pages 4-5) :
    “The height of the three storey podium is consistent with the traditional low rise amenity adjacent to the harbour basin, but the tower creates a contrast. At a further 24 storeys, the glass fronted east and west elevations present an alternative vision of Dunedin’s future in much the same way as did the former Otago Harbour Board reflective glass fronted building across Wharf Street.”
    Application (PDF, 3.6 MB) Scanned copy of the application for resource consent.

    Application description (DCC):
    “Resource consent is sought for the construction and operation of a licensed hotel, together with residential apartments, at 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin. The proposed hotel will have 27 floors plus a basement.”
    http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/council-online/notified-resource-consents/current-notifieds/luc-2012-212

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    Wow, Chase Corporation retro-chic. Ladies, trawl through the spare room wardrobe for those shoulder-padded non-crease power jackets.

  5. DaveM

    Much the same way? That’s the lamest attempt at contextualisation I’ve heard for a while. Comparing the OHB building to the tower is like comparing Scuffy the Tug Boat to the USS Enterprise.

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    “A 15-storey super brothel planned for Auckland’s central city will “be a positive contribution to the cityscape,” according to the building’s architect.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7938291/Super-brothel-positive-addition-to-Auckland
    How about a swap? It’s a bit less naff than the hotel. And as we know, build it and they will …uh… come.

  7. Anonymous

    OMG. The directors and chiefs of this city’s corrupt council should be real keen to “invest” in that. They have a talent for screwing the citizens out of their money.

    • Elizabeth

      The label ‘Dunedin Anti-Progressive League’ as it happens amongst Recent Comments on the proposed hotel at ODT Online was picked up by a screwball Board member of the Otago Chamber of Commerce, exercising her tweet power this afternoon, not in a good way. That should be description enough to arrive at her name. Clue: she organises conferences etc, occasionally.

  8. BillyBob

    Do I detect an element of xenophobia in the objections to the proposed hotel?

  9. Mike

    Wow those “apartments” are more like hotel rooms – maybe they’re intending to house students – with a bar on the first floor they’ll have to be planning for a rowdy atmosphere.

    I see that the owners consider the traffic on Wharf St to be “intimidating” to their patrons, but not to them.

    They also want the council to “adjust the carriageway” – in particular they want to take part of the Wharf St to “enable an improved presentation of the site”.

    They will not provide staff parking (though they’re supposed to) tough if you’re a local, and are trying to get away with only providing 1 park for every 3 apartments (maybe they really are for students).

    • Elizabeth

      Oh hey, Mike, we have a ‘submissive’ (was that complacent with rates-funded chequebook?) FUTURISTIC-thinking council here! Under pressure from the Old Boys, DCC first wanted a “harbour arterial” (includes Wharf St), but with the proposed $100m cheapie Holiday Inn coming to No. 41, the council won’t mind downgrading the whole street to a cart track – to be upgraded eventually by council, for a monorail to the stadium. Let’s get real, heavy traffic to Port Chalmers can roll straight through George St, for all we care. The Future means Bold Moves, because Tourism Dunedin said so – plus, DCC paid TD to say that. Anything~!!! for the big spenders, we’ll box their hatchlings in tower apartments right down to Strathallan St if we have to, 41 Wharf St is the harbinger! Let the wee dears get a med or law degree from Otago, before they ricochet off to Harvard and Yale for doctoral research, never to grace these shores again. For five minutes’ work though, ‘Roy Rodgers’, backed by Page-turner Phil, will make enough to retire to Lakes District, joining King Eion, his wolf Michael, and the Guest lawyer. All in the stars. It’s divine intervention it is – NOT resource management, that’s just passing the buck at council.

        • Elizabeth

          Proposed hotel – is this a council PPP?
          Submitted by ej kerr on Tue, 13/11/2012 – 9:45pm.
          The DCC has indicated the hearing committee shall consist of three (elected) commissioners; Colin Weatherall is the chairman. If the council is hearing the application with ‘independence’, it must carefully consider whether it can deliver that independence since the Applicant, Betterways Advisory Limited, has placed in writing (see the application documents) that it invites council’s ‘cooperation’ in making infrastructure changes – to suit the private owners of the proposed hotel and the hotel’s future operation.

          You would like to think the hearing committee has formed an opinion on how it will treat that invitation before the hearing commences – so submitters are unequivocally clear on the council’s position. The submitters are presently in the dark.

          Further, if the council is likely to participate in a public private partnership (PPP) or some other form of relationship or accord with the developer, you would hope the council had declared itself well prior to publicly notifying an application of this importance. The council hasn’t declared anything.

          [Abridged]

  10. Anonymous

    A smiling lawyer walks into the Oddity office…

    So we have Stakeholders, Stadium Councillors, a lawyer and the Otago Daily Times. What we don’t have is a willingness to adapt the appearance and or height and no certainty on who pays for all those really obvious extras. Which means the ratepayers will and it’ll just be another 5, 10, 15, 50 million Stakeholder dollars on our billion dollar credit card.

    …It sounds like a joke but it’s worse kind of humour.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 20 Nov 2012
    Hotel developer unveils link bridge proposal
    By Chris Morris
    The man promoting Dunedin’s proposed 28-storey hotel has unveiled plans for a “world class” pedestrian and cyclist bridge that could provide a missing link to the city’s waterfront.
    However, the idea is only the “starting point for a discussion”, with key details – including how much the sweeping structure would cost and who would pay for it – yet to be confirmed, Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers said.
    Read More
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/235576/hotel-developer-unveils-link-bridge-proposal

  11. Anonymous

    Here’s the ending point for the discussion: “F*ck off. And your bridge. And the horse (Trigger) that you rode in on.”

  12. Phil

    Has someone told them about the Transit NZ minimum height requirement which has scuttled all previous bridge attempts ?

  13. Anonymous

    So much wrong here.
    Ignite Architects (deliberately) give a false impression with their “concept drawings”. Disgrace to the profession.

    The railway line as been blurred out and its apparent width reduced. Why are the developers so cagey about showing the railway line?
    The height necessary to meet the minimum is not shown to scale. As Phil points out, this would have to be almost equivalent in height to the existing vehicle overbridge.
    The elevators for disabled access are necessary because the “ramp is too steep”. What clowns are these?

  14. Phil

    The ramps were a major problem last time around. The height of the bridge is determined by Transit NZ in order for the road to be classed as a SH and receive central government funding, which it currently enjoys. Spiral ramps are no longer legal, which only leaves a straight accessible ramp. In order to meet the maximum ramp slope and minimum bridge height requirements, any ramp was going to be getting towards 100m long. Obviously not practical, and abandoned. That is why they keep tryng to patch up the railway station bridge, as they could never build a new bridge that would meet current standards.

  15. Anonymous

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/bridge-manual/docs/bridge-manual-appendix-a.pdf

    “1. Where the Transit New Zealand Authority has resolved
    that a state highway, or part of a state highway, is an
    Overdimension Load Route, all new structures crossing
    the route shall provide a minimum vertical clearance of
    6.0 m over a carriageway width of at least 10.0 m, to
    allow the passage of overdimension loads.”
    OR
    “7. Vertical Clearances at Pedestrian Bridges:
    (a) At least 200 mm greater than adjacent traffic
    bridges, but not less than 5.1 m.
    (b) At least 6.2 m when there are no adjacent traffic
    bridges.”

    So it’s at least 6m clearance. The maximum ramp gradient you can have is 5%, so the ramp must have a minimum length of 120m. So that would start at Jade Quay on the harbour side and would finish at ??? on the City side. Er, nowhere. You can’t fit a 120m ramp in on that side. Unless you have The Great Glass Elevator on both sides. And that eliminates the cycleway. Or you have to change the designation of the State Highway. And that’s not minor.

  16. Phil

    Exactly. The original design, from the DCC, ran the ramps parallel to the respective roads. But that involved buying or leasing land from Ngai Tahu, who own most of the rail corridor. For a price. As the ramps could only fan out in one direction it meant having to walk almost to the existing vehicle overbridge first, and then all the way back again. obviously a crazy idea. Stabilising a structure of that size in that location was also cost prohibitive.

  17. Peter

    Not that I want the hotel, but I wonder if they ever considered building the hotel over the railway lines with the hotel being the bridge through which you could access both sides. I may have seen this seemingly odd arrangement in London, I think. Victoria Station? There would be more room to spread laterally instead of vertically on the present small site at Wharf St. I, of course, have no idea about these things and how practicable they are with the present site.
    Feel free to laugh at me!

  18. I was recently at the refurbished Penrose railway station in Auckland, that has new compliant ramps. I didn’t take a photo at the time, and the pictures online don’t really do the insanity justice, but the ramps are just phenomenally long, the bridge is really really high, and it’s a hell of a lot of steps (admittedly, one side starts off probably a couple of metres below the level of the tracks). I understand why the 5% gradient exists, but it is producing some hilariously impractical structures. The ramps must be able to double back (which all of these did).

  19. Anonymous

    Doubling back ramps cuts down the horizontal distance for sure. But becomes impractical for a cycleway, which these guys want to sell us.

  20. There is doubling back on the cycleway by the stadium. In the Auckland solution, the double back consists of two half turns, separated by a distance, which would be (slightly) better for cycling.

  21. Anonymous

    The doubling back at the stadium cycleway is a pain. Particularly the bottom turn off the main ramp to go back under the bridge. The 90 degree blind turn under the bridge is a masterpiece of poor design.

    But that brings us back to SH88 realignment, which is a different matter entirely. Suffice it to say that if 47 Minerva St had not been gifted to Wilson Parking, the doubling back on that side would be unnecesary.

  22. Ro

    I gather the planner has recommended the city turn the hotel application down on the grounds of the zoning and the disruption it will cause to the regional road

    • Elizabeth

      Heard same, via RNZ source.
      Because it’s on industrial land, will block views, cast shadow, create traffic problems – the adverse effects are not minor.

      The hearing committee is quite able to reject the city planner’s recommendation and, as we’ve heard, may try to push this tricky application straight to Environment Court for any decision to be made. Watch this space.

  23. Ro

    Or suggest the planner change her mind… and then render her incapable of making up her mind

  24. Hype O'Thermia

    Why are they so dead-set on building it THERE? Access is terrible unless the money-pixies find enough money in the magic jar to re-route other traffic (the one-ways and everything else within a long hike) so they can build the bridge that’s needed so people can get to the hotel. Sure it would link the city and waterside areas but is that necessary, or even particularly desirable? Maybe when the stadium has attracted many thousands more permanent residents to Dunedin and the conference venues are attracting a steady flow of many hundreds per week, the CBD and the refurbished pedestrian-friendly warehouse area and the waterside, all thick with charming cafes and little bars, will have enough people coming and going not to look like a quiet day in Ettrick………. but it ain’t happening any time soon.

  25. Phil

    The Mayor is talking up a possible project that has yet to be decided by an independant panel made up of his own Councillors ? What’s wrong with this picture ?

    • Elizabeth

      Phil, the other thing is if any submitters were listening to the RNZ item this morning – featuring Mayor Cull talking the hotel project up (it was like the CEO and Chairman of the Otago Chamber of Commerce were up his rear end), also featured sound bites by property developer and investor Jeff Dickie (thinking the application equivalent to an April Fools joke, and more), and Peter Entwisle – then they got new information: the three councillors on the hearing committee will be joined by an independent commissioner. Surprise.

      This pseudo ‘independence’ is cancelled out completely by the mayor’s ELECTIONEERING ADVERTISING.

      [article] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/121402/dunedin-crs-advised-to-turn-down-hotel-proposal

      HERE IS CULL……
      I should have said, also with comments from Roy Rodgers and his rocking horse Trigger (Peter McIntyre, from the Otago Bed Chamber*, CoC or Cock – I think it’s spelled with a k)

      [webpage for audio] http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2539198/dunedin-councillors-urged-to-turn-down-luxury-hotel-proposal

      ### radionz.co.nz 7:57 am on 21 Nov 2012
      Morning Report
      Dunedin councillors urged to turn down luxury hotel proposal
      An official Dunedin City Council staff report has urged councillors to reject a proposed 27-floor luxury hotel that would tower over the city’s waterfront. (2′58″)
      Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  26. Peter

    And who chooses the independent councillors?

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, chairman Weatherall appointed Noone and Wilson as noted via media news. Elected commissioners differ from independent commissioners, as explained elsewhere at What if (or visit the NZ quality planning website). Like all of us you might need tongue planted firmly in cheek to absorb that er, particular subtlety.

  27. Hype O'Thermia

    I know the answer to that one – an independent unbiased talker-up of the project, right?

  28. Peter

    Have commisioners always been largely councillors? One of the problems of having ‘elected’ commisioners is that theoretically-if not in fact- they can be ‘influenced’. But, maybe, this is true of whoever is a commissioner?
    A shame that trust, being above reproach, integrity can’t be legislated and guaranteed.
    One ‘independent’ commisioner, out of four, doesn’t sound safe to me.
    Are there ANY checks and balances?

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, my advice shared at What if is that DCC will push this ‘tricky’ application smartly off to Environment Court for decision.

      In a small country like New Zealand there’s little chance of true independence, that’s what we have cuzzies for, to help our interests along. Cough.

      Besides, the good old boys are grooming Andrew Noone for the mayoral race, this keeps the underground economy running, boy-style. It’s that or Syd to maintain the empire, but sadly Syd has blotted his copy book between harness racing, rugby and self-interested (as a councillor) property speculation, and now the truth is out on his involvement in the blighted SH88 business… Oh dear.

      • Elizabeth

        Application: Betterways Advisory Limited – 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin

        LUC-2012-212
        POST APPLICATION INFORMATION

        has now been loaded at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/luc-2012-212

        Submitters should have received their copy of the Council Planning Report and the Hearing Committee Agenda today by mail.

        Submissions and the summary of submissions are available to view at the DCC website.

  29. Phil

    A lot (in fact ALL) of the attention surrounding the Hearings panel selection has been rather cleverly focused on the panel members’ current personal business interests. A cafe owner in Middlemarch and a rural farmer shouldn’t have any bias when assessing an innercity application. Right ? All very clever. But what those 2 do with their money is completely irrelevant to their own personal predetermined views with regard to the priority of business over people in this city. Both have a solid track record of driving through any business or development venture which rears it’s head, regardless of consequences. They are the perfect people to have on an application panel, if you happen to be the developer. Noone is the worse offender by far, but he generally escapes notice because he rarely emerges from the shadows on his own. I believe that the city planner has been pressured into adding “conditions” so that the application can be approved while at the same time the panel can be seen to be getting tough with the developer. Already sorted. This is a good planner who previously has had her vast educational and experience skills completely ignored by people with inferior knowledge. Throw in the daft Mayor’s public comments and you can see the paperwork already being signed.

    • Elizabeth

      I have every intention to be at Environment Court in 2013… the same planner has seen to that on a couple of applications, there whether I like it or not. One word: Prista.

      • Elizabeth

        John Lumsden as independent commissioner, in my view, is so far from being independent. Plan Change 8 showed him up.

        Interesting to see Chalmers Properties Ltd (under the rule of Geoff Plunket this time) is opposing the hotel development. Add that to ORC and KiwiRail – happy days! It means more experts in the picture.

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