New Palmerston North Countdown supermarket gets green light in Awapuni - at last

The council's opposition to the $16 million project, expected to create about 100 jobs, attracted a lot of criticism ...
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ

The council's opposition to the $16 million project, expected to create about 100 jobs, attracted a lot of criticism from the public.

Obstacles to a new Countdown supermarket in Palmerston North have been cleared, at last.

Progressive Enterprises and Palmerston North City Council have reached an agreement on the supermarket, and commercial and retail development at Pioneer Highway, Awapuni.

Council planners and Progressive Enterprises had been at loggerheads for two years over the proposed development as the council demanded it fit with design principles. The council's opposition to the $16 million project, expected to create about 100 jobs, attracted a lot of criticism from the public.

After years of wrangling, a Countdown supermarket is destined for this site in Awapuni, Palmerston North.
Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ

After years of wrangling, a Countdown supermarket is destined for this site in Awapuni, Palmerston North.

Mayor Grant Smith said he was pleased it had finally got over the line.

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"People city-wide and especially those from the community of Awapuni have been telling us they really want this neighbourhood centre, which includes the Countdown supermarket, to go ahead.

"A way has been found that satisfies the community, the council and Progressive Enterprises. It will provide us with a new amenity and dozens of new local jobs," Smith said.

Progressive Enterprises said it had no comment to make at this stage.

It has been seeking resource consents for the development on 2 hectares of land in the city's local business zone.

Last year, commissioners turned down the company's application after it did not fully comply with the city council's planning rules.

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Despite an appeal, court-ordered mediation and attempts by mayor Smith to negotiate a compromise, council planners stood firm in their intention to defend the decision all the way to court.

A hearing on the case began in the Environment Court on Tuesday, but was adjourned to allow the council and Progressive Enterprises time to negotiate.

Council customer services general manager Peter Eathorne said both sides had agreed on changes to the design.

"This will enhance the look of the development from the street front and also provide more open space," Eathorne said.

The new plan was similar to Progressive Enterprises' previous ones, with a Countdown supermarket anchoring the retail development.

The supermarket would mea 500

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