Daily Archives: September 26, 2014

NZ Loan and Mercantile Building —what ESCO said!

NZ Loan and Mercantile Agency building, Dunedin [wikimedia.org] 1 detailLand Use Consent: LUC-2014-259
31-33 Thomas Burns Street, Dunedin
NZ Loan and Mercantile Agency Co Ltd Building

Application LUC-2014-259 (PDF, 4.0 MB)

[see related posts below] The consent hearing reconvened on Monday 22 September at 9:30 AM to hear closings of the city planners and right of reply for applicant Russell Lund. The hearing is now closed; commissioners Andrew Noone (chair), David Benson-Pope and Lee Vandervis are considering their decision.

Background to this post:
Following the initial hearing held on Tuesday 19 August, it is What if? Dunedin’s contention that Debbie Porteous, for the Otago Daily Times, provided news stories which failed to give appropriate weight and balance to submissions and evidence from supporting and opposing submitters, the applicant, and experts for the parties.

ODT stories:
█ 20.8.14 Demolition threatened; job loss possibility raised
Esco Dunedin site manager Dean Taig told the panel if the apartments were allowed next door he would have “grave concerns” for the future of the foundry which employed 39 people and had plans to employ 100 people.
[negative writerly tone]

█ 21.8.14 Businesses fear being driven out of area
It is a choice between buildings and jobs, a panel considering whether to allow apartments in a heritage building in Dunedin’s waterfront industrial area has been told. The district plan had already made the choice for them, lawyer Phil Page also said, because it said there could not be incompatible activities in the same area.
[negative writerly tone becomes shrill, no right of reply for applicant]

█ 29.8.14 DCC to foot apartments consent bill
The development is opposed by nearby industrial businesses, which are concerned about reverse sensitivity issues such as noise and smell and the effect of gentrification of the area on their future enterprises.
[stirring, ends with a negative, no right of reply for applicant]

What on earth had ESCO put to hearing?
● Evidence of Counsel for ESCO Dunedin Pty Ltd – D R Clay (Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Lawyers – Auckland) (PDF, 704 KB)
● Evidence of Dean Taig, site manager of ESCO Dunedin Pty Ltd Dunedin foundry (PDF, 246 KB)
● Evidence of Michael Smith, independent traffic engineering expert (Traffic Design Group) (PDF, 531 KB)
● Evidence of Shane Roberts, independent planning expert (Opus International Consultants) (PDF, 1.82 MB)

█ These snivellings from Ms Porteous ran counter to a supportive comment by editor Murray Kirkness on Saturday 6 September:

“It is certainly encouraging that another local developer is prepared to foot the bill to preserve a distinctive piece of the city’s heritage. It is to be hoped his plans go more smoothly than those for Russell Lund’s restoration and apartment conversion of the Loan and Mercantile building. That proposal is complicated by the fact it is in the wharf area and has been opposed by neighbouring industrial businesses. The council hearing into Mr Lund’s consent application resumes this month.” (ODT)

█ On Tuesday 9 September, reporter Chris Morris also cleared the biased air of Ms Porteous, with last sentences:

“Last month, building owner Russell Lund criticised a council planner’s decision to recommend declining consent for his planned redevelopment of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Building. That proposal, which has attracted more support than opposition, is still being considered, with an adjourned hearing set to resume later this month.” (ODT)

Heritage advocates are awaiting something/anything in print from Ms Porteous about the applicant’s technically fulsome right of reply given on 22 September. Why the delay, we ask?

It’s pleasing to learn Murray Kirkness kindly phoned Russell Lund this evening to say a story appears in tomorrow’s newspaper.
THANK YOU MURRAY !!
We look forward to reading this, we hope….

Related Posts and Comments:
30.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building: Looking round at potential
18.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building #randomsmartphonepix (interiors)
17.8.14 Public Notices: NZ Loan and Mercantile Building… (site tour, hearing)
13.8.14 Chamber’s Own Goals —Heritage (letters)
11.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Building (audio)
8.8.14 NZ Loan and Mercantile Agency Co Ltd Building…
18.3.14 Dunedin Harbourside: English Heritage on portside development
21.10.13 Harbourside: Access to a revamped Steamer Basin has public backing

█ For more, enter the terms *loan and mercantile* or *harbourside* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: wikimedia.org – NZ Loan and Mercantile Building by Ben C Hill for Heritage New Zealand [NZHPT]

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