A Dunedin City Council panel has declined resource consents for a controversial 28-storey hotel proposed for the city's waterfront.
The panel evaluating consents on the $100 million luxury hotel and apartment complex at Steamer Basin released its decision on Wednesday after six months of public hearings and deliberations.
Dunedin's first five-star hotel was proposed by a Central Otago businesswoman and her husband who builds high-rise buildings in China. However, public submissions were overwhelmingly against its height and design.
In its report, the panel said the proposal did not meet a key legal test under the Resource Management Act, because it is contrary to the South Island city's district plan and would have effects which are more than minor.
It said the proposal is out of character with its surroundings and far removed from the industrial zone it would sit in.
Panel chairman Colin Weatherall said on Wednesday the four-person panel's decision was unanimous and a combination of factors made the project unsuitable for its waterfront site.
"You could suggest one of them - not the only, but one of them - was the location in an industrial zone where the activity is not compatible with industrial. But there's a whole bunch of reasons."
The spokesperson for development company Betterways Advisory, Steve Rodgers, said they are very disappointed and would consider a legal appeal.
"It's always easy with hindsight to say you could have done more or other things, but we did the best that we thought. The council's come to its decision. Reading that decision I am of the view that the panel was keen to say no."
The panel expressed disappointment at the developer's refusal to provide key visual impact evidence, but Mr Rodgers said his team did what they thought was best.
An opponent of the hotel is pleased the project has been rejected, saying it is culturally inappropriate. Islay Little, from Dunedin, made a submission against the plan, saying the city has a Scottish baroque design and the complex would have imposed an ill-fitting foreign culture.
Ms Little said it would not have mattered which culture it came from - it was not Dunedin. She believed the city would probably welcome a five-star hotel if the design and site were better thought out.
Paul Pope from the Dunedin Amenities Society said the building was too high and would dominate the landscape in a way never before seen in the city.