Daily Archives: November 26, 2012

Proposed hotel, 41 Wharf Street – indicative landscape effects

The following images (scans of scans…) were supplied by Madeleine Lamont in submission on application LUC-2012-212. The text of Madeleine’s submission has been lightly edited for posting. Her submission as lodged (No. 422) can be viewed here: Submissions 401 to 509 (PDF, 6.9 MB).

1. View from Mornington Park, off Eglinton Rd between Stafford and High Sts

2. (zoom) View from Mornington Park, off Eglinton Rd

3. View from Bellevue St, Belleknowes, just below Highgate

4. View from Adam St, near Russell St, City Rise

Submission to Dunedin City Council
Re: Public Notice of application for Resource Consent Section 95A Resource Management Act 1991
Resource Consent Application No: LUC-2012-212
Name of Applicant: Betterways Advisory Limited
Location of Site: 41 Wharf Street, Dunedin, being the land legally described as
Lot 3 Deposited Plan 25158, held in Computer Freehold
Register OT17A/1107.

I submit in the strongest terms, that resource consent for the building of the proposed hotel structure on the above site, NOT BE GRANTED because of the structure’s significant, detrimental effects on the city landscape.

If the applicant had had the courtesy to supply comprehensive spatial design drawings of this structure in the context of the whole city, it would be obvious to all how inappropriate in SCALE this structure is. At 96m in elevation, the structure overbears the entire city and harbour basin, obstructing the entire city centre’s experience of the harbour, the peninsula and Dunedin’s nestling hills, offering an absurd conflict with the human scale and nature of both the historic and current character of city structures and city activities.

Of greatest concern are the western and eastern elevations of the structure. I submit Photo 1 taken from the lookout in Mornington Park, a view celebrated by Dunedin artists numerous times over the years, by visitors to the city and of course, by the hundreds of Dunedin households. The approximate silhouette of the proposed structure is drawn in to show the obstructive nature and ‘selfish’ size and position of the hotel. The scale of the building is completely inappropriate. Photo 2 is from the same position, zoomed in and marked with the Wharf St railway lighting tower measured at 35m used to indicate the dominance of the proposed 96.3m hotel structure. The eastern elevation from the peninsula suburbs too, will experience the overscale of the building against the city and hill suburbs.

Photo 3 taken, on zoom from Bellevue Street, Belleknowes, again includes the structure’s silhouette scaled off the marked rail light tower. If the cladding of the proposed tower is mainly glass, with it being so high above the city, the western sun will create issues of sun strike on roads leading down from the suburbs, and obviously, serious effects and obstruction to the views enjoyed by thousands of households.

Photo 4 is from lower down the Belleknowes spur, from Adam Street, with an estimated, but conservative profile (photo lacks a known structure to measure off) drawn. Again the aesthetic values and scale of the harbour basin are entirely offended by an ill considered structure.

What concerns me most about this application for resource consent to build an inappropriate structure (by position and scale), is the inadequacy of the supplied application documents to present the structure in the context of the city. Widely published images are fantasy, such as an elevated, high angle view from well above the harbour, attempting to diminish the perceived size of the structure. The only humans to view the structure from this angle, position and elevation may be those wealthy enough to, by helicopter. These images are notable for their lack of contextual structures that make, in fact, the character of Dunedin. Buildings of 2, 3 or more storeys set the scale appropriate for development and are absent from the application documents precisely to obscure the real affect this structure will have on the city’s landscape and its aesthetic values. Design consultancy information only focuses on the very immediate surroundings and contains no spatial plan for this giant structure in the context of the city. I have attempted to show how 120 degrees of the city centre and its hill suburbs will have their harbour and peninsula views and joy of place seriously obstructed. The peninsula suburbs will view a structure absurdly contradicting the city structures and rounded hill suburbs. All incoming transport links, as a special feature of this city, enjoy delightful revelation of the ‘great little city’, its harbour and the waters of the Pacific. These heartening views enjoyed by all, citizen and visitor, will be irretrievable spoiled and dominated by a tower designed (and possibly built) for a city the scale of Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.

Lastly, the attempt at this sort of inappropriate development is an affront to the careful planning [of] the city’s forefathers to create an egalitarian community enjoying the delightful natural environment Dunedin offers. The proposed structure stands at 96m. This is only a matter of metres below the elevation of much of the Green Belt. Jubilee Park is at a 100m elevation. The Green Belt designed and implemented so long ago and maintained for the benefit of all, is carefully placed so that wherever a person stands in the city centre they can look up the hills to the skyline and see only green, the suburbs beyond obscured by the angle of view. This creates a very special intimate city, a human scaled city, for the benefit and edification of those living or visiting here. This, in conjunction with historical character (now lost in Christchurch), a rich, intelligent, creative and industrious community is what makes Dunedin a destination, a special, memorable place that with sympathetic development will continue to attract visitors and citizens who will not find the likes, elsewhere in the world. Structures like the proposed hotel are notable for being the same the world over. In being built it will change the very character of the place visitors will be seeking to experience.

I submit in the strongest terms that the Dunedin City Council turn down this application for resource consent and I suggest that the non compliance of this application to the requirements of the Resource Management Act to protect the amenity, aesthetic and cultural values and wellbeing of the people of Dunedin will bring this matter to the Environment Court.

Yours sincerely

Madeleine Lamont
B. Landscape Architecture (Hons), Lincoln University

Compare these indicative images to those prepared by Truescape of Christchurch for the Applicant:

LUC-2012-212 12. Viewpoint booklet
(PDF, 3.4MB)
This document is a scanned copy of the application for resource consent

Related Posts:
20.11.12 City planner’s report recommends against consent for hotel
10.11.12 Dunedin Hotel, 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212)
8.9.12 Waterfront Hotel #Dunedin (Applicant names?)
7.9.12 Waterfront hotel: DCC to notify resource consent application
16.5.12 Dunedin Hotel

The Applicant, Betterways Advisory Limited, gets one and a half days for presentation to the hearing committee (Cr Colin Weatherall, Cr Andrew Noone, Cr Kate Wilson, and independent commissioner John Lumsden). Submitters have been allowed ten minutes each. Written communication from City Planning makes no time allowance for submitters wishing to use experts.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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