Significant Tree: 28A Heriot Row

Proposed for Removal: Significant Tree T578

Submissions Close: 30/05/2014

Notification of Application for a Resource Consent – Under Section 93(2) of the Resource Management Act 1991.

The Dunedin City Council has received the following application for Resource Consent:

Application description
Resource consent is sought to remove a significant tree at 28A Heriot Row, Dunedin. The tree is a Maple Tree (genus Acer) and is recorded as T578 in Schedule 25.3 of the Dunedin City District Plan. The tree is located in the front yard of the subject site.

The site is legally described as Part Section 30 Block XXIV Town of Dunedin, held in Computer Freehold Register OT96/150, and has an approximate area of 463m2. The site is located within the Royal Terrace/Pitt Street/Heriot Row Heritage Precinct (TH08).

Applicant: John and Evellen Jackson of Drysdale Ltd – 142 Stafford Drive, Ruby Bay, Mapua 7005

Read more:

Quick Find: Application LUC-2014-157 (PDF, 882.3 KB)

28A Heriot Row (subject site) 1Light green circle indicates trunk position of Maple tree at 28A
28A Heriot Row (concept building sketch) 1Sketch concept for site development supplied by applicant

26, 28, 28A Heriot Row (showing Maple tree) DCC WebmapDCC Webmap showing proximity of Ritchie House, 26 Heriot Row

The applicant only seeks removal of the listed tree; a second resource consent application would be required to develop the subject site, since it is located in the heritage precinct.

The subject site is part of the former garden allotment, with original brick garage, of the Heritage New Zealand listed Category 1 Historic Place, the Ritchie House at 26 Heriot Row. This large, outstanding Arts and Crafts house and the brick garage were designed by renowned Dunedin architect Basil Hooper.

The applicant bought the property knowing the Significant Tree (Maple) was listed for protection in the district plan. The tree does not preclude development of the site; and note there is a covenant in place.

Independent consulting advice from an arborist, a landscape architect, and a design architect, to the Hearing Committee should be mandatory for consideration of the application. An opinion should also be sought from Heritage New Zealand (heritage precinct).

Heritage New Zealand registration information for 26 Heriot Row – go to Assessment criteria at

Dunedin Heritage Fund
(administered by Heritage New Zealand and the Dunedin City Council)
2004. The owners of Ritchie House received a $20,000 loan to assist with a range of restoration works.

26 Heriot Row (watercolour sketch) 1Seen from 28 Heriot Row – 28A garden with Maple tree, and 26 Ritchie House

Related Post and Comments:
22.2.13 DCC: Significant Trees

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, DCC, Design, Heritage, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning

10 responses to “Significant Tree: 28A Heriot Row

  1. ro

    The land rises from the street edge to the rear of the section by some 4m according to the application. Much of the rise is in the immediate street edge. The covenant governs the height of any structures built on the land setting the height at 3m above the ground at the rear boundary. 3m is only 1 floor; by building at the street edge, 2 floors could be erected. Placing a new building at the street edge would upset the line of structures on the street – on the corner an 1860s or 1870s David Ross neo-classical villa; the Arts and Crafts Hooper Ritchie house and the Co-ed flats – an inter-war (I think) construction of similar bulk and location as the other two. Even though they belong to different periods and design philosophies, their common siting and bulk make them interesting neighbours. A new building in a fourth design would only work if it were sited 10m back from the street in line with the Ritchie house.

    Keeping a new structure low is certainly desirable for the habitability of the wonderful two-storeys of verandahs on the north face of the Ritchie house. Not so sure it makes for a good streetscape. I think it might work if it were designed to look as though it were a row of mews houses belonging to the Ritchie estate but set at the northern boundary of the site (and 10m back from the street).

    Removing the tree in order to construct a new building that makes good design sense may be acceptable; but removing it in the absence of any such proposal is precipitate.

    • The application to remove a protected tree should not be confused by DCC as a way for the applicant to pave the way to full ‘green fields’ development and intensification, while satisfying the legal demands of the covenant against the property title yet obliterating (see curtilage) the significant character amenity and heritage values of the listed precinct. I hope DCC does its homework properly.

  2. ro

    While the Royal Terrace/Pitt St/Heriot Row heritage area was proposed for registration by the NZHPT in the 1980s or 90s, it was never implemented due to lack of resources for researching and describing it fully. However the city incorporated it into its own schedule. As a result I’m not sure what role Heritage NZ now plays in applications… do you know Elizabeth?

  3. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sun, 29 Jun 2014
    Application to fell Heriot Row maple
    By Debbie Porteous
    A scheduled maple tree near a historic Heriot Row home will be the next to have its fate considered by the Dunedin City Council. […] Recent public notification of the consent application attracted 11 submissions, 10 of them opposing the tree’s removal. Council staff are also recommending the panel considering the application reject it because the tree is healthy and a predominant feature of the area.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Isn’t this – my memory is a bit hazy – because 2 people who came across as significantly unlovely in the news item I read some time back want to built an edifice larger than can be accommodated without removing a significant tree that was there when they bought the property?

  4. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 3 Jul 2014
    Protected tree at the root of property dilemma
    By David Loughrey
    A couple who spent $400,000 restoring a category one historic inner-city home have found themselves left with part of the property landlocked by a lack of access. The couple say they are blocked by a covenant and Dunedin City Council rules from developing or selling the land.
    A covenant meant any building on the rear boundary could be no higher then 3m, and heritage precinct rules required buildings to have pitched roofs.
    Read more

  5. Elizabeth

    An earlier anonymous comment posted here was removed following receipt of an email from one of the couple.

  6. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 15 Jul 2014
    School gets second property in a row
    By Debbie Porteous
    St Hilda’s Collegiate School is selling a million-dollar-plus historic Heriot Row property it bought less than a year ago after buying another property in the street. Principal Melissa Bell said the board was selling 26 Heriot Row – otherwise known as Ritchie House – because it had bought 16 Heriot Row, which is directly beside the school. It had long been interested in 16 Heriot Row, but the property had not come on the market until now.
    Read more

  7. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 31 Jul 2014
    Heriot Row tree to stay
    By Rebecca Fox
    A Mapua couple will likely appeal a decision preventing them from cutting down a protected tree on their Heriot Row property. Eve and John Jackson had hoped to remove the 80-to-100-year-old maple tree to allow a prospective buyer to build on the section. […] Following a hearing last month, the Dunedin City Council panel released its decision, saying as the tree was healthy and a mature specimen it should be retained for its amenity. While the site had “atypical development constraints” including poor access, the tree and a restrictive covenant, they were in place when the couple bought the property.
    Read more

    █ The decision is not yet available at the DCC website.

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