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Opposition to Dunedin high-rise hotel

Monday 3 Dec 2012 5:52 p.m.

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Many people are opposing a proposal to build a controversial high-rise hotel on Dunedin's waterfront.

A public hearing over the building has begun, and more than 500 public submissions have been received, with an overwhelming number opposing the proposal.

The $100 million, five-star development would be a 28-storey luxury hotel, standing twice as high as Dunedin’s next-tallest building.

Project spokesman Steve Rodgers is excited about the proposal.

“It will be a landmark, it will be an opportunity for the city to be seen as something that is growing rather than stagnating.”

But of the 507 public submissions the council has received, an overwhelming 457 are against it.

Dunedin resident Liz Angelo is one of those opposing the building.

“It's going to be a blot on the landscape. It will just rise straight up and completely dominate Dunedin.

“It will be something that sticks up and will be an eyesore.”

Most residents agree they don't like the hotel’s design, which will contain 215 hotel rooms and 164 self-contained apartments.

“The design of the building is not in any way exciting,” resident Morris Angelo says. “I've seen better old Hudson’s biscuit tins up in the old huts up in the hills.”

But some people, like Susan Dovey, are happy, as the development will mean easier access to Dunedin's waterfront.  

“You've got to be doing new stuff,” she says. “It's a shame the design is quite ugly, but where they're planning to put it has got huge implications for transport because they cannot put a hotel there without doing something about the roadway, making pedestrian access better.”

Regardless of differing opinions, developers remain positive and say those opposing the project are a minority.

“I think that is something that is normal for people to be worried about,” Mr Rodgers says. “There are a number of buildings in Dunedin that were very tall when they were built.”

Ultimately it will be up to the council to decide over the next two weeks, and those who have made submissions will have a chance to be heard at the hearing tomorrow.

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