Proponents clarify plans for station deck


The group behind bringing Cobb & Co to Dunedin Railway Station has moved to clarify aspects of the project, in response to public comment.
Cobb & Co Dunedin general manager Ange Copson said there had been some misconception about the group’s plans to build a deck at the northern end of the station to provide sheltered outdoor dining for customers.
Some people had mistakenly believed the deck would be a large wood and glass structure that would obscure the front of the station, or that it would result in the demolition of garden beds in Anzac Square.
“In fact, the deck will tucked away behind the row of trees at the north end of the station, and will be very low to the ground,” Mrs Copson said.
“People taking photographs of the beautiful main vista of the railway station probably won’t even be able to see it.”
Resource consent is required, for which public submissions close on December 17.
The deck concept had been designed by Dunedin heritage building specialist and ZealSteel managing director Lawrie Forbes to mimic the look of a flat-deck railway wagon as well as echoing shapes from around the station.
He planned to incorporate historic steel saved from the old Dunedin Railway Station overbridge, which was destroyed by a container wagon in 2008 and subsequently rebuilt.
The design also included glass panels to provide shelter from the wind for people on the deck and to reduce the visual impact.
In consultation with Heritage New Zealand Otago-Southland area manager Jonathan Howard, the deck design had been made to have minimal impact and was basically free-standing _ attached to the railway station at only a couple of points, Mr Forbes said.
Contacted by The Star, Mr Howard said the consultation process had been constructive, and Mrs Copson had been open to advice regarding any possible effects on the building.
The proposed deck was sited away from the “majestic and decorative” westerly elevation of the Dunedin Railway Station, and was nestled into the single-storey area at the northern end.
He understood that the deck was essential to the Cobb & Co tenancy, with outside seating being important to the ongoing financial viability of the restaurant.
It would be preferable for a tenancy to be of a longer duration, as it would mean fewer changes over time, he said.
The construction of the proposed deck meant that it could be peeled away in the future, if necessary, with no effect on the building.
The extra seating provided by the deck was important to the long-term success of the restaurant, Mrs Copson said.