Submission on Resource Consent Application Number 140133
28-34 Sunderland Street made by the Loki Trust
This document is to be read in conjunction with the Submission Form attached and is made on behalf of Historic Places Central Otago by David White -
Address P O Box 192 Cromwell 9342
Phone 03 445 4777
Historic Places Central Otago was formed in July 2012 as a regional non- government organisation to replace the role of the Central Otago Branch committee structure of New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now Heritage New Zealand).
The role of Historic Places Central Otago is to promote Heritage conservation and preservation for future generations. We undertake active roles in ensuring that Heritage conservation is conducted in a way that promotes heritage awareness and acknowledges the commercial and tourism aspects of heritage in accordance with best heritage practices. This statement is particularly relevant to this resource consent application.
Acknowledgement of the Category I - Olivers complex
As an organisation we have followed with interest the restoration, progress and changes that have been undertaken by David and Andrea at Olivers. Their energy, vision, and belief that this particular heritage complex could be transformed into a commercial tourism operation whilst conserving and adhering to heritage principles is highly commendable.
Their current resource consent application by Loki Trust to continue along that path with the addition and adaptive reuse for a restaurant, café and craft brewery is generally supported by us. We recognise that the commercial benefits of enhancing the current complex with these additions is a great support to the continued conservation of this historic precinct.
However we do have some serious reservations in regard to the façade of the Brewery and these are outlined in this submission.
There are some minor issues that also require some further consideration but in themselves do not pose a rejection of the project.
The frontage of the proposed Clyde Brewery directly adjoining Benjamin Naylor’s old store is described as a façade in the application and serves no function for access. There are no opening doors and the front is described as follows:
‘The new façade will consist of a glass shop front with an opaque parapet over. Both these elements will be flush with one another and a depiction of the old façade will be transposed continuously onto these surfaces using computer printed adhesive film.’
We make the distinction that the original building was not a façade as it was constructed to be functional with double doors, a fanlight, and windows.
Above the ceiling line at the front was a shaped pediment that, by design or not, allowed a view of the stonework of the adjoining Naylor’s store but created a gable to the pitched corrugated roof behind.
The description above of the proposed new concept describes a continuous computer printed film onto the entire façade of glass and other material – in other words a label. When affixed, the label becomes a sign (DP – Section 18 Definitions – sign).
How does the façade contravene the District Plan?
The proposed façade, therefore, is no more than a computer generated sign to advertise the Brewery within. It does allow a view inside but is ostensibly a sign. The colour ways as depicted are in stark contrast to the adjoining building and to other properties within the heritage precinct. As a sign it exceeds the requirements of the Business Resource Area signage 8.3.6 (iv)
By contrast, the 1870’s front of the original building was fully functional and constructed of horizontal weatherboards with wooden windows and double doors. The sides were vertical corrugated iron. This construction was typical of the street scape at the time. Larger permanent material buildings replaced some wooden buildings in the ensuing years.
The designation of Sunderland St Clyde as a heritage precinct in the District Plan carries with it Policy as stated in 11.3.5 and an explanation for that Policy. We maintain the new façade does not pay due regard to this policy and explanation, and does not meet the heritage values. The proposed façade also fails to comply with the requirements within the Business Resource Area Section 8.2.2 (b) & (c).
We also draw attention to section 11.4 in the District Plan whereby 11.4.1 (a) & (b) applying to additions or alterations of structures and erection of New Structures in that council should exercise its discretion and not allow the façade activity as proposed.
The heritage values of Sunderland St. have evolved over time and continue through conservation, restoration and to a small degree replication. The concept of bestowing the mantle of a heritage precinct recognises the values of other associated properties in the precinct. To have one façade contradicting these values in the manner proposed has the effect of demoting the precinct concept to that of simply an ordinary main street where almost anything is permissible. By allowing a printed label to be adhered to the frontage of a building in a designated heritage precinct sets a very dangerous precedent.
Other properties in the business resource area in our opinion generally comply with the heritage precinct values in regard to constructional materials, colour, signage and presence. The heritage precinct also includes many residential properties (about 50%), some of which still display their original wooden weatherboard construction methods and are visually compatible in colour and style to a heritage precinct and its values.
The re introduction of vertical corrugated iron cladding behind the newly proposed façade replicates the much used construction method of the 1870’s when the whole street was of an era when horizontal weatherboards and vertical corrugated iron prevailed (street view page 26 ‘Costly Gold’ JS & WR Murray).
We maintain that there are dual standards operating within the appearance of the proposed Brewery addition.
The Resource Consent application on page 6 states ‘Appreciation of heritage and heritage values lies in the authentic historic nature of the building or site or feature, not simply its appearance. Furthermore a building, or part of a building which is faithfully replicated, confuses the onlooker with what is old and true and what is new and false.
Question - Is the addition of vertical corrugated iron specified as cladding on other parts of the building façades, a confusion or not? We interpret the paragraph in italics above as being a justification for a ‘radical’ façade that simply doesn’t comply with the requirements and values of a Heritage Precinct as laid out in the District Plan.
We would argue that in this particular case reconstruction of the facade in original style weatherboard materials with operating doors and windows to replicate its origins and the values of the heritage precinct is somewhat more justified in this instance, along with vertical corrugated iron elsewhere in the complex. There has clearly been none of the original 1870’s building there for so long that to replicate the original now would not appear to constitute a confusion to the onlooker.
We recognise replication is not a conservation process in itself (ICOMOS NZ), but it would more enhance the values of a heritage precinct in its appearance rather than a printed façade. There may be other cladding alternatives to consider that equally fit into the Heritage Precinct values.
Section 21 (ICOMOS NZ) Adaptation states “Any alterations or additions should be compatible with the original form and fabric of the place, and should avoid inappropriate or incomplete contrasts of form, scale, mass, colour, and material. Adaptation should not dominate or substantially obscure the original form and fabric, and should not adversely affect the setting of a place of cultural heritage value. New work should complement the original form and fabric”.
We would maintain that to replicate the original building in the appropriate fabric, style, materials and colour is entirely compatible with this section of ICOMOS New Zealand.
We recommend that the Council reject the proposed Brewery façade on the basis that it contravenes numerous sections of the District Plan with particular regard to its appearance, its application, and form, within a heritage precinct and the business resource area of that precinct.
Our submission is conditional. We approve of the resource consent subject to the proposed Brewery façade being declined. If the proposed Brewery facade is approved we are not in support of the resource consent.
The resource consent shows a visual of the Brewery frontage and its lettering “Clyde Brewery”. We comment that the original lettering style on the main Olivers building frontage is Copperplate, and is still in use within the current Microsoft Words Font faces. Using a modern face (eg Book Antiqua or Palatino as the visual) is inappropriate directly alongside the older building. Using Copperplate illustrates modern usage yet connectivity with the past. An example of this is the standardised Pub lettering in UK which is an old face applied to both old and new buildings throughout the country. Clever branding.
Internal access to Café from the Kitchen
We note on the ground floor plan, that access to the Café from the Kitchen looks difficult without the addition of another doorway through the existing stone walls. We cannot evaluate from the plan how the flow of food would be undertaken and this may be a wrong interpretation of the plan on our part. Whilst the work flow is not in itself a heritage issue, any more intrusion into the fabric of the original building would be of concern to us.