Ware­house de­vel­op­ment eas­ier

Otago Daily Times - - DUNEDIN - CHRIS MOR­RIS

THE con­ver­sion of Dunedin’s ware­house precinct into a place to ‘‘live, work and play’’ should be eas­ier fol­low­ing a sig­nif­i­cant change in zon­ing rules, the Dunedin City Coun­cil says.

Un­til now, the re­de­vel­op­ment of the precinct’s age­ing ware­house her­itage build­ings has been held back by its ex­ist­ing large­scale re­tail zon­ing.

That was de­signed for big box re­tail­ers, but was con­sid­ered in­com­pat­i­ble with the ware­ house precinct’s de­vel­op­ment, coun­cil city de­vel­op­ment man­ager Anna John­son said.

‘‘Re­ally, that’s not the type of de­vel­op­ment we’d like to see there [the ware­house precinct].

‘‘Most of the build­ings, in or­der to be a large­scale re­tail ac­tiv­ity, would in­volve hav­ing to de­mol­ish mul­ti­ple build­ings to cre­ate a site big enough.

‘‘There’s only a few build­ings that ac­tu­ally have a foot­print of that scale, in that area. A num­ber of them would be below that thresh­old.’’

Un­der the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion district plan (2GP), the area would be cov­ered by a new ware­house precinct zone with more re­laxed rules for land use, de­vel­op­ment and the re­use of her­itage build­ings, she said.

That in­cluded mak­ing re­tail and of­fice de­vel­op­ments per­mit­ted ac­tiv­i­ties in pro­tected her­itage build­ings within the precinct, she said.

‘‘It’s en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to re­use the build­ings, rather than de­mol­ish them to build a new build­ing.’’

That would en­cour­age the de­vel­op­ment of the area as a ‘‘live, work, play­type en­vi­ron­ment’’ without re­quir­ing con­sent hear­ings, she said.

‘‘The en­tire as­pi­ra­tion for the area is quite dif­fer­ent.

‘‘If the ul­ti­mate vi­sion for the area is to be this ‘live­work­play’ [area] then the plan rules should sup­port that, rather than force peo­ple through a con­sent process that costs them time and money and maybe puts some peo­ple off do­ing their projects.’’

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