Tauranga City Council will allow a period of grace for submitters who failed to meet next Monday's deadline for feedback on the controversial civic heart project.

Public fears that complex high-powered submissions might miss the July 18 cut-off has prompted Mayor Stuart Crosby to announce that if they arrived two or three days late, the council would still accept them.

However with 285 submissions received by yesterday, Mr Crosby said the decision was made to stick with the original closing date. The only major group still concerned with the deadline was the New Zealand Society of Architects.

''If they are a little bit late, then we will still accept them.''


He said 70 per cent of the submissions received so far were online and the council expected to have received up to 350 submissions by the middle of next week.

''There should be a good breadth of opinion.''

Submitters will deliver their opinions personally to councillors in hearings on August 1-2.

Mr Crosby said if the council had received low numbers of submissions and many people remained concerned about the deadline, then the closing date would have been officially extended.

''We are happy with the level of debate out there and the online forums. That is what we wanted to hear.''.