Steamer Basin hur­dle over­come

Af­ter six years, 1500 sub­mis­sions and $3.5 mil­lion in costs, the Dunedin City Coun­cil’s sec­ond gen­er­a­tion district plan — chart­ing the city’s course for the next decade — is fi­nally ready. Re­porters Tim Miller and Chris Mor­ris go over the de­tails.

Otago Daily Times - - DUNEDIN - CHRIS MOR­RIS chris.mor­[email protected]

A MA­JOR ob­sta­cle stand­ing in the way of water­front de­vel­op­ment in Dunedin has been sidestepped with the re­lease of the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion district plan (2GP).

The plan, be­ing un­veiled to­day, in­cludes re­laxed rules govern­ing de­vel­op­ment on the south side of the Steamer Basin.

Coun­cil city de­vel­op­ment man­ager Anna John­son said the old district plan re­quired di­lap­i­dated wharves in the area to be re­built as part of any water­front re­de­vel­op­ment.

That was to en­sure peo­ple had pub­lic ac­cess di­rectly to the wa­ter’s edge, seen as a de­sir­able part of any re­de­vel­op­ment of the area.

But un­der the 2GP, rules were be­ing made more flex­i­ble, and would only re­quire peo­ple to have ac­cess to the water­front.

Dr John­son said the change meant water­front ac­cess could be from the land around the edge of the Steamer Basin, rather than nec­es­sar­ily from the wharves them­selves.

It meant build­ings could be de­vel­oped fur­ther in­land, away from the wa­ter’s edge, free­ing up a strip on land — be­tween the build­ings and the wa­ter — for pub­lic ac­cess to wa­ter, she said.

That was based on feed­back sug­gest­ing the cost of re­build­ing the wharves was an ob­sta­cle to de­vel­op­ment.

‘‘There’s a lot of con­jec­ture as to why there was no de­vel­op­ment oc­cur­ring down there, and I think one of the key mes­sages around that was the hur­dle of hav­ing to re­build the wharf was po­ten­tially putting ev­ery­one off, be­cause it’s such a large up­front cost.’’

The old district plan was ‘‘quite pre­scrip­tive’’ but the 2GP took a more ‘‘out­come­fo­cused’’ ap­proach, she said.

‘‘The plan is about say­ing ‘well, this is what you need to achieve’ but not telling you ex­actly how to achieve it.’’

The changes were ex­pected to make the de­vel­op­ment plan out­lined by Damien van Bran­den­burg, of Ar­chi­tec­ture Van Bran­den­burg, and busi­ness­man Ian Tay­lor, eas­ier and cheaper to achieve.

The de­vel­op­ment plan, backed by the city coun­cil, Univer­sity of Otago, Port Otago and Ngai Tahu, in­cluded a hub of new ‘‘sig­na­ture build­ings’’, pub­lic spa­ces and ameni­ties, as well as a mix of of­fices, re­tail out­lets, cafes and apart­ments, built around the Steamer Basin.

PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

Change in wind . . . A re­lax­ation of rules will aid de­vel­op­ment on the south side of the Steamer Basin.

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