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Councilor calls for greater protection for concert halls

Stronger protection for concert halls may be needed to prevent Dunedin from losing them, a councilor has said.

The music industry feared the development of apartments next to the Crown Hotel in Rattray St could lead to noise complaints and the town could end up losing a historic venue, said Cr Carmen Houlahan.

“Urgent action is needed,” she said.

“Live music and live theater add to the quality of life in a city.

“We need to keep our city vibrant.”

A discussion on Rattray St followed Dunedin City Council’s agreement on resources for a four-storey mixed-use development.

The issue of noise complaints making it difficult to operate live music venues also arose last year over The Dog With Two Tails cafe and bar in Moray Pl.

This led to the City Council facilitating the creation of a live music action plan, as well as lobbying the Save Dunedin Live Music group.

Cr Houlahan said one way forward could be to adjust the zoning of the town.

She wanted to see a music, arts and culture district, where noise from existing buildings would be expected.

The board needed to show the music industry that its concerns had been heard, she said.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins, who spearheaded the decision to include $10,000 in council budgets for the live music action plan, called The Crown the home of New York’s best jukebox. Zeeland.

“Some of us remember that the residential development next to Arc Cafe was the beginning of the end for this community,” Hawkins said in a social media post.

“We can’t afford to lose this one.”

He had reported the problem to council staff.

However, Mr Hawkins also noted that the council’s new district plan covered what is known as reverse sensitivity, or ‘moving in next to noisy activity and then complaining about the noise’.

A rule on sound insulation recognized the need for noise-sensitive activities, such as apartments, to shield themselves from noise, such as music.

Mr Hawkins said there would likely be disagreement over whether insulation performance standards were adequate, but protections existed for the type of situation the Crown might one day be caught in.

The Otago Daily Times requested additional comments from Mr. Hawkins.