Review of the rules requested by the lobby group of the site

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A Dunedin group fighting for the viability of music venues in the city center said they would ask Dunedin City Council to review soundproofing and insulation rules.

Save Dunedin Local Music spokesman David Bennett held a public meeting at the Crown Hotel yesterday to discuss a proposed development in Rattray St, which many believe could put the future of the venue at risk.

“The Crown is the heart and soul of the music community, it’s a place without barriers,” Mr. Bennett said.

Mr Bennett addressed a crowd of more than 40 people and said class counsel had concluded that the council and developers had done nothing wrong in granting consent to resources for commercial property and mixed-use residential planned next door.

However, the group, which has worked with the council for the past 18 months, only discovered the ‘threat’ to the venue after consent was granted, through a Otago Daily Times article.

The developer requested non-notified consent and was deemed to have met the requirements to do so, Mr Bennett said.

Technically, the board was right.

“Building modestly isolated apartments right next to a concert hall is in line with the rules of 2GP, our current district plan.”

The issue of sound was not raised in the consent process and the special character of the areas with concert halls was not a factor.

“It’s a basic problem that we have to solve,” Mr Bennett said.

The band feared that an apartment block built next to the Crown Hotel would prevent it from functioning as a concert venue due to noise complaints from nearby residents.

The city had already lost too many good concert halls and one more was too many.

Sites needed to be protected by regulations allowing certain volumes and types of sound at particular times, he said.

The group plans to challenge the council to change consent bylaws and the district plan.

They would also contact the developers of the Rattray St apartments to express their concerns.

A rally for Save Dunedin Live Music would take place on August 7 in the Octagon, he said.

Case Saunders

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