Fate of Octagon Five-Star Hotel Rests in Hands of Panel

The fate of the five-star hotel to be built in Dunedin’s Moray Place rests on the result of a consent panel, as the hearing was slated to end on Friday last week.

Tekapo businessman Anthony Tosswill is behind the 17-storey residential development, which, according to his application, will be home to 210 hotel rooms, 64 self-contained apartments, and four self-contained penthouse suites, with a height of approximately 62.5 metres.

An independent report published in July by Consultant Planner Nigel Bryce advised the DCC to decline the consent, citing the hotel’s dominance over the surrounding properties, which will cause “loss of views and impacts upon visual amenity values ... as a consequence of increased shading … [causing] more than minor effects on the Kingsgate Hotel and over the Octagon.”

It goes on to recommend that the height of the hotel be reduced by four levels, bringing it down to just thirteen storeys and a maximum height of just over 45 metres.

However, another report, by David Compton-Moen, disagreed, stating that, although the shading will extend over the neighbouring Kingsgate Hotel for most of the morning during the Equinox and Winter periods (roughly ¾ of the year), “I do not consider shading to be an issue, with the greatest effects being on the Kingsgate Hotel and the Moray Place Octagon Restaurants. In both instances the effects are less than minor.”

The council has sought public submissions on the topic of the hotel, of which, according to DCC Resource Consents Manager Alan Worthington, 206 opposed the build, 58 supported it, and just seven were neutral.

An Otago Chamber of Commerce survey of their 1000 members found 79 percent were in favour of the build, and just 11 percent were against.

According to Consultant Urban Designer Garth Falconer, should the resource consent be granted it will become “significantly the tallest building in the central city and create significant adverse effects to its north and west where there is a sharp transition into a low rise commercial and residential area.”

The panel was expected to continue until at least Friday last week.

This article first appeared in Issue 18, 2017.
Posted 10:53am Sunday 6th August 2017 by Joe Higham.