DCC: Non-notified decision for Harbourside subdivision

Updated post 13.1.15 at 1:25 a.m. Map added.


20 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 32 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 36 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 8 Bombay Street Dunedin, 10 Bombay Street Dunedin, 14 Tewsley Street Dunedin, 47 Willis Street Dunedin, 59 Willis Street Dunedin, 34 Mason Street Dunedin, 44 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 47 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 56 Willis Street Dunedin (SUB-2014-149)

This consent was an application to/for subdivision at 20 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 32 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 36 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 8 Bombay Street Dunedin, 10 Bombay Street Dunedin, 14 Tewsley Street Dunedin, 47 Willis Street Dunedin, 59 Willis Street Dunedin, 34 Mason Street Dunedin, 44 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 47 Cresswell Street Dunedin, 56 Willis Street Dunedin.

This was considered by the Council’s Senior Planner (Consents) on 25 November 2014.


Information obtained from City Planning 12.1.15

Harbourside subdivision (SUB-2014-149)
Applicant: Chalmers Properties Ltd

“The proposed subdivision is to be undertaken in one stage, and will not create any vacant sites intended for development. Nor is any redevelopment of the new lots anticipated.” (from the Decision) ??? Are we sure….

SUB-2014-149 Decision (DOCX, 1.62 MB)

SUB-2014-149 Application 2014-10-30 (PDF, 9.33 MB)

Plan. Lots 1 - 34 Subdivision of Land in Industrial Precinct. PatersonPitts for CPLDecision (final page) – Copy of Plan: Not to Scale. [click to enlarge]

DCC Webmap - Dunedin Harbourside (detail)DCC Webmap – Dunedin Harbourside [click to enlarge]

Dunedin City District Plan - Harbourside zones (detail 1)Dunedin City District Plan – Harbourside zones (detail) via Map 35 and Map 49

nzhpt-dunedin-harbourside-historic-area-1Heritage New Zealand – Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area # List No. 7767

DCC Ratepayers:

● 20 Cresswell Street Dunedin – Anzide Properties Ltd
● 32 Cresswell Street Dunedin – Anzide Properties Ltd
● 36 Cresswell Street Dunedin – McCormick Carrying Properties Ltd
● 8 Bombay Street Dunedin – Ross D Matheson, Mary K O’Hara Matheson
● 10 Bombay Street Dunedin – Nicen Ltd
● 14 Tewsley Street Dunedin – Ewen W Heather, Leanne M Kent, Russell S Melville
● 47 Willis Street Dunedin – Steel and Tube Holdings Ltd, Pacific Oriental Holdings Ltd
● 59 Willis Street Dunedin – Christie Paper Ltd
● 34 Mason Street Dunedin – Otago Daily Times Ltd
● 44 Cresswell Street Dunedin* – Graeme M Crosbie, Gillian K Crosbie
● 47 Cresswell Street Dunedin – Hyde Park Industrial Developments Ltd
● 56 Willis Street Dunedin – Development Six Ltd

*Note: Conflicting DCC mapping information for 44 Cresswell Street, Dunedin. Property adjoins 14 Tewsley Street, does not include 14 Tewsley Street.

Related Posts and Comments:
16.1.14 DCC explains Harbourside subdivision in reply to Vandervis
27.12.14 Port Otago Ltd + Chalmers Properties
17.11.14 Bradken keen to sell Tewsley Street premises
12.6.14 Dunedin’s industrial land
18.3.14 Dunedin Harbourside: English Heritage on portside development

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Name, New Zealand, POL, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

28 responses to “DCC: Non-notified decision for Harbourside subdivision

  1. Michelle Kerr

    Elizabeth. Can you please tell me what this sub division is all about. I am a property owner with one of these properties and know nothing about it.

    • Elizabeth

      Michelle, thanks for your query. Suggest you call City Planning on Monday for explanation.
      I only found this when searching DCC non-notified consent decisions today – at the moment I have no further information. Thus the post.
      Others visiting the website may fill us in on Port Otago Ltd’s movements.

  2. Anonymous

    No details on the decision, nor who made the application.
    A non-notified consent affecting that many properties???
    Must make some phone calls.

    • Elizabeth


      I note that since publishing at 4:03 pm, this post has attracted double the views of the Home page, and we were already having a healthy views day! Phenomenal.

  3. Anonymous

    Have made phone calls. Property owners of at least 3 of those properties not aware of the details of the subdivision.

    Two theories:
    – Harbourside by stealth, in which case several people need to GTFO
    – subdivision by freehold owner to sell to leaseholders or on open market

    Remember, people. There’s a shortage of industrial land in Dunedin.
    20 Cresswell St was also the original Sargood boot factory: http://forevernamed.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/sargood-son-and-ewen.html

  4. Michelle Kerr

    Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I will make some inquiries on Monday.

  5. Elizabeth

    Add to that, DCC Chief Executive Sue Bidrose. Who may or may not be back from leave. But she can expect WAVES on arrival.

  6. Glen

    Alright for some, just steal some cars to pay for it, paying for them to do it too makes me sick.

  7. Elizabeth

    Old press:

    ● ODT 15.3.14 Bumper year for Chalmers [Dunedin ground lease rentals remain the “backbone” of Chalmers Properties’ widespread investment portfolio, with 177 city tenants, spread largely over industrial land parcels bordering Dunedin’s upper harbour.]

    ● ODT 15.3.14 Port Otago banks on future [Port Otago’s land banking in Dunedin’s upper harbour is slowly being expanded around Fryatt St, with five separate properties [157 Fryatt St] now covering about 6ha.]

    ● ODT 3.7.10 Rent rises concern for many businesses [Ground lease land rental charges around Dunedin have escalated by as much as 300% in recent years, at a time when some industrial land sales have ranged from $250 per sq metre to an eye-watering $800 per sq m.]

    ● ODT 11.12.09 $12m worth of city property sold [Chalmers’ chief executive Andrew Duncan said yesterday the buyers included Elim City Church and the DCC …. In August 2001, Chalmers sold a total six land packages covering 23.41ha in the foreshore area, with combined rental income at the time of $936,000, for $12.6 million. Two-thirds of the properties sold were purchased by two companies owned by Scenic Circle hotelier Earl Hagaman, with the balance going to Oakwood Properties and the DCC.]

    ● ODT 5.10.09 Most Chalmers lessees to take up purchase offer [Port Otago subsidiary Chalmers Properties says the majority of 15 lessees will purchase their freehold titles of industrially-zoned land around central Dunedin, but a small number may yet be advertised for sale …. The land for sale is outside the controversial harbour-side development proposed by the Dunedin City Council, in which Chalmers has a significant interest.]

    ● ODT 19.8.09 $12 million block on market [Chalmers Properties is selling 13 freehold land titles of mainly industrially zoned land near central Dunedin – potentially worth $10 million to $12 million. The 3.4ha of land, bounded by Anzac Ave and Harrow and Frederick Sts, is leased under 21 leases to 15 lessees, who will get first option to buy, with any land not selling going on the open market in October …. For the year to the end of June 2008, Chalmers’ property portfolio was spread over Dunedin (56%), Auckland (32%) and Hamilton (12%).]

    ● ODT 30.7.08 ‘Limited’ future for some harbourside businesses [Chalmers chief executive Andrew Duncan said the company’s vision was to improve public access to the harbourside and connect the waterfront to the city, with a vital commercial and residential sector. Chalmers had already sold 25% of its freehold land in the area.]

  8. Anonymous

    Some more phone calls later.
    Nobody knows anything about this whatsoever.

    Monday will be an interesting morning at DCC.
    Harbourside. And traffic lights redux. When is an easement not an easement?

  9. Elizabeth

    Will post a copy of the letter granting non-notified consent and a copy of the application as soon as I get the paperwork for scanning. Affected property owners and their agents who are now aware of the DCC consent may beat a path to Planning on Monday around the same time I do. Won’t take long to crack this – but aftermath and fallout will take longer owing to the serious nature. Good luck.

  10. Anonymous

    Don’t Put Your Daughter On The Stage, Mrs Worthington

  11. Elizabeth


    [she went, in reply to Anonymous whose comment has been pulled]

    • Elizabeth

      One of our anonymous contributors posted an unadorned reference to Noël Coward’s “Mrs. Worthington” on this thread (10 January). The comment has been removed, for now. Read on.

      Yesterday, DCC rang to note it might require to obtain a legal opinion on use of the reference at this thread since council staff, not a namesake who is ‘on leave’, felt it may carry other inferences to the plainly obvious. For the conversation a very long piece of string was involved. In any case, the caller wasn’t clear that the particular inference (as cited confidentially) could be drawn but felt impelled to follow up.

      Again, DCC staff reading social media sites (in work time?) seem to expect managers to “say something” instead of approaching the website owner themselves if they have individual concerns of any kind (I’m sure they ought to have many). Either that, or it’s another case of putting out fires on behalf of the executive leadership team (ELT), or a chief executive.

      As we’re busy discussing democratic freedoms and freedom of speech this week…. And, Because It’s Friday (thank god), a gift to All who visit What if? casually expecting odd comedy, satire, stoush, information, seriousness or whatever they come here for —

      HERE IS Mr Coward on Mrs. Worthington (followed by four more entertainments of “hilarity and mirth” to keep you out of the midday sun….). Yep, you wish you hadn’t asked.

      ArtDecoChap Uploaded on Feb 18, 2011

      the best of Noël Coward – FIVE numbers
      Specifically (The Master would WANT me to be specific) “Mrs Worthington”, “Mad Dogs And Englishmen”, “Twentieth Century Blues”, “A Room With A View” and “The Stately Homes Of England” – enjoy!

      Artist: Noël Coward

      In his biography, A Talent to Amuse, Sheridan Morley said that in 1933, when Coward was at the height of his powers, he received a constant stream of letters from women begging him “to find parts for their respective daughters in whatever he happened to be staging next”. He wrote the song “Mrs. Worthington” as a general refusal to all these ambitious mothers. According to Morley, it remained “one of the lastingly popular Coward songs that did not have its origin in one of his shows” but although it sold well enough and “served him admirably for cabaret appearances during and after the war”, it had the opposite effect from intended; most women took it as a joke.

      Another version of this song’s origin is given in Noël Coward: The Complete Lyrics. As related by the actress daughter of a producer, the writer was visiting her father, who tossed aside a letter he had been reading, clearly upset, and when Coward asked, he replied: “Oh, it’s just a letter from some maddening woman called Mrs. Worthington, asking me if I can put her daughter on the stage…” Coward went straight upstairs and wrote it.

      “(Don’t put your daughter on the stage), Mrs. Worthington” was also Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s favourite Noël Coward song.

  12. Elizabeth

    Harbourside subdivision (SUB-2014-149)

    Applicant: Chalmers Properties Ltd (CPL)

    “The proposed subdivision is to be undertaken in one stage, and will not create any vacant sites intended for development. Nor is any redevelopment of the new lots anticipated.” (from the Decision)

    Documents received from DCC today for download:

    SUB-2014-149 Decision (DOCX, 1.62 MB)

    SUB-2014-149 Application 2014-10-30 (PDF, 9.33 MB)

  13. Elizabeth

    Updated post at top of thread.
    Decision and Application documents added for download.

  14. Elizabeth

    Subdivision Map from Decision added to post.

  15. Elizabeth

    Brief comment, as we learn more.

    My reading of the Chalmers Properties Ltd application and the DCC Non-notified Decision granting subdivision does not add any level of comfort.

    Offline, a correspondent wonders about the Motivations. And it’s these that must be teased out in the next days. Legally or otherwise.

    The applicant says in their Conclusion (item 8):

    “The proposal has been considered in terms of the subdivision policies and objectives, and in terms of the rules, is complying, or as suggested above, activities have been lawfully established as shown by the recorded consents in the HAIL search. The items likely to raise contamination issues have been addressed. As such we believe there are no affected persons.” (my emphasis)

    How many (yes) affected property owners and leaseholders were consulted about the application? Currently, we believe no-one was consulted in the subject area.

    In effect, DCC has accepted there were/are no affected parties to be identified by the applicant.

    The Conclusion continues:

    “We would reiterate that we recognise the subdivision is affected by a HAIL activity, but would ask that Council approve the subdivision in recognition of the fact that the subdivision has a purely administrative purpose; that of aligning the new Lot boundaries to be in sympathy with the existing lease boundaries. No changes in the current activity are promoted in this application, and the proposal will not result in any development of the site. Thus, the effects on the environment remain unchanged.” (my emphasis)

    Frankly, in the face of water and service connections, fire ratings, integrity of party walls, building foundations, hazardous substances, contaminated ground, vehicle access, parking, and the like, it does appear that “administrative purpose” is not only of convenience to future site development, it actively encourages it by virtue of the now cleanly defined underlay of lots. And is therefore a complete euphemism for Chalmers’ aspirations in regards to the north harbourside land within its control. Smells like corporate steerage disguised as practical housekeeping.

    Perhaps I’m too cynical.
    And DCC is not playing that economic development game either !! ….through the non-notified process.

  16. Elizabeth

    Did ODT ask Mr No-Smoke-Without-Fire Plunket of POL/Chalmers (since he has feet in both accounting camps) why his company(s) failed to alert the property owners/leaseholders of his subdivision; and what was his reply. And did they ask Darby and Co at DCC the same question. And was Heritage New Zealand informed given the heritage significance of some affected properties, and the presence of the Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area.

    I should stop asking dumb questions, and starting sentences with And.
    Thanks Chris for underlining Mr Plunket’s rather pathetic “downplay” of his complete lack of communication with affected parties.

    Mr Plunket must be near retirement.

    Yesterday, Mr Plunket said the latest subdivisions north of Steamer Basin were an administrative exercise, and did not amount to “harbourside by stealth”. “That’s a conspiracy theory.”

    ### ODT Online Wed, 14 Jan 2015
    Port subdivision move downplayed
    By Chris Morris
    A move to subdivide a chunk of Dunedin’s waterfront industrial land is not ”harbourside by stealth”, but will make it easier to sell land to developers in future, Port Otago says. However, Port Otago chief executive Geoff Plunket insists there are no ”active” plans to sell or develop the sites, despite ongoing interest from potential buyers. His comments came after Chalmers Properties, a Port Otago subsidiary, was granted non-notified consent on November 25 to subdivide 15 of its waterfront titles into 34 lots.
    Read more

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    So ‘there are no ”active” plans to sell or develop the sites, despite ongoing interest from potential buyers.’ Okey dokey.
    This process can’t be cheap. If it is it’s an anomaly, totally inconsistent with any other Dunedin permit/compliance/registration issues where taxation by another name is extracted till the applicant’s meter hovers over the “empty” line.
    Yet here it’s being done despite nobody having needed it for current purposes.
    No plaintive cries of “I say, Mr Landlord, we’re having awful worries about boundaries not being ‘in sympathy with the existing lease boundaries.’ The stress is getting us down, can’t you do something about it?”
    Currently, for present use to continue, this ain’t broken. Why spend money to fix it, when there is no “active” intention (!) to sell the land or change anything about how it is currently being used?
    Are we being asked to “believe six impossible things before breakfast” – again?

  18. Calvin Oaten

    The interesting time might be when rent reviews are due.

  19. Elizabeth

    Interesting who Chalmers has offered freehold to and rates set for some renewed leases in 2014. Watch this space.

  20. Elizabeth

    DCC phoned this morning to offer copy of a comprehensive explanation or other for the council process involved for Chalmers Properties’ non-notified Harbourside subdivision.

    They came to me. I didn’t go to them.

    Will post on receipt. It is likely to be instructive.

  21. Calvin Oaten

    “The proposed subdivision is to be undertaken in one stage, and will not create any vacant sites intended for development.” So, it looks like there was never going to be room in that stage for either Mrs Worthington’s daughter or her son.

  22. Elizabeth

    Calvin, Mrs Worthington inherited a fortune last year with which to snaffle up property as it comes available; and as we know, Mrs Worthington doesn’t currently own any of the buildings and improvements at the subject sites and is not a leaseholder. But if freeholded look at all those dreadful old sheds that can be bowled in the registered Dunedin Harbourside Historic Area (which area DCC will not admit into the District Plan for listing) and beyond, north of the Steamer Basin —and given Chalmers Properties Ltd along with Darby and Co at DCC want economic development, over redundancy and any more episodes of Restoration Man or Grand Designs. Although DCC is a signatory, PLEASE don’t mention the ICOMOS New Zealand Charter for the Conservation of Places of Historical Value (1993). Hello, Mr Plunket. I see you have already met with Mrs Worthington.

    brownfield (broun’fēld’) A piece of industrial or commercial property that is abandoned or underused and often environmentally contaminated, especially one considered as a potential site for redevelopment. Compare greenfield.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s