New gym will worsen parking, residents say

Pumping iron . . . A contractor on Friday shifts rubble with an excavator to clear a site for a new 24-hour gym to be built in Mosgiel. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A new 24-hour gym being built in Mosgiel will worsen a shortfall of car parks in the area, a concerned resident says.

Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board member Martin Dillon said, in his personal view, the Dunedin City Council should have made Anchorage Properties Ltd provide more car parking when seeking resource consent to build a new 24-hour gym on the corner of Church St and Factory Rd.

The consent, which was granted last month, said the gym would have nine car parks, including one mobility parking space.

In the consent application, council planner Connor Marner said the Proposed Second Generation Dunedin City District Plan specifies a sports and recreation activity requires one car park for every five people the facility can accommodate at one time.

“As the building has a maximum occupation of 102 people, this would require 20 car parks to be provided. As only nine are proposed, this results in a shortfall of 11 car parks.”

Mr Dillon said vehicles of gym users taking up public car parks in the area would negatively affect surrounding businesses, such as customers wanting to collect food ordered from nearby eateries.

“If you can’t get parking close to a fish and chip shop you go somewhere that you can [get a park].”

The public car parks in the area were regularly full, he said.

The council should not have processed the resource consent on a non-notified basis, Mr Dillon said.

“There are affected persons and they should have been notified.”

Unichem Taieri pharmacist owner Lauren Hurley said the new gym would put more pressure on public parking and it would be an issue.

On a positive note, a new gym should increase foot traffic in the area, which would be good for business, she said.

Staff at New Mosgiel Fish Supply and Lee’s Chinese Takeaway were unable to comment.

Black Pepper Indian Restaurant co-owner Ravi Rawat said he expected the new gym’s clients would make it harder for customers to find a car park near his restaurant, but an increase in foot traffic could still be good for business.

Mosgiel Memorial RSA president Debbie Kennedy said the new gym would affect the availability of car parks in the public Dunedin City Council lot outside the RSA.

“It’s going to add to the congestion at times.”

Salon Carissa owner Tracy Cookson said she expected the new gym to increase the pressure on parking near her salon in Factory Rd.

“We know that parking is going to be interesting but other than that, it doesn’t faze us too much.”

Council resource consents manager Alan Worthington said the gym was deemed to be a restricted discretionary activity under district plan rules, meaning it was allowed “as of right” so long as it complied with key requirements, including car parking provision.

A shortfall in parking spaces provided was among the reasons a resource consent was required in this case.

The decision to grant consent notes the developer expects a maximum of only 40 people on site at any one time, and that the gym’s peak time between 6pm and 7pm would fall outside normal business hours.

“That means on and off-street parking in the surrounding streets is expected to be adequate to cater for any overflow in parking demand from the gymnasium.”

Members of the public were not notified as environmental effects were deemed no parties adversely affected.

Anchorage Properties Ltd co-director Lincoln Darling could not be reached for comment.