Dunedin's old Cadbury factory can be demolished to clear the way for the city's new hospital.
The Ministry of Health has today been granted a resource consent to demolish several factory buildings and facades in Cumberland St.
The facades are considered to have heritage value but, in his decision, hearings commissioner Gary Rae said their loss was unavoidable.
Everybody involved in the case agreed there was no reasonable alternative to demolition if building the new hospital went ahead, and the probability of it proceeding was high, he said.
Rae said the hospital would bring significant benefits to the community.
The former Dairy and Machine House building at the site will not be demolished.
In the end, no parties were opposed to the ministry's application for demolition and they agreed on a set of conditions.
The ministry will have to submit a demolition management plan and a plan for removing asbestos from the site.
It will also have to make sure there are no adverse effects on the structural integrity or heritage values of surrounding heritage buildings - particularly the machine house building and the Allied Press building.
Allied Press - publisher of the Otago Daily Times - withdrew its opposition to the application before the November 2 hearing.
The ministry will need to take steps to minimise noise and vibration during demolition, as well as manage traffic and control dust and sediment.
Allied Press had earlier raised concerns about the potential for dust and vibration to affect the printing press.
The demolition consent period is for five years.
If the ministry does not apply for a building consent within four years, it will need to do some landscaping at the site.
What the ministry has described as hard demolition is expected to start in March next year.
It is expected to be completed by February 2022.
There will be no work at night, on Sundays or public holidays, unless emergency work is required to protect public safety.
Some materials may be salvaged to retain items of heritage.