Supermarket plan gets the green light
Approval has been given to build a $23 million Countdown supermarket on one of Hamilton's most congested roads.
Hamilton City Council has granted resource consent to Progressive Enterprises to construct a 4000-square-metre single-storey supermarket on a Peachgrove Rd site following a hearing last month.
The approval is subject to 52 conditions of consent.
Progressive Enterprises bought the 1.8 hectare site from Mighty River Power in February last year.
Reaction to the proposal has been mixed.
Some Hamilton East and Claudelands residents said a supermarket was sorely needed in the area, while Countdown's general manager for property, Adrian Walker, earlier told the Times the company would engage dozens of Waikato construction and building companies for the project.
The supermarket is expected to create up to 60 new jobs.
But the location of the supermarket on one Hamilton's busiest streets, and its proximity to three schools - Southwell School, Hamilton Boys' High School and Peachgrove Intermediate School - has alarmed some road safety advocates.
Judy McDonald, co-ordinator of pedestrian advocate group Living Streets Hamilton, said her primary concern was the impact a supermarket would have on students cycling or walking to school.
"You've got children trying to negotiate their way to and from school and it's just one more hazard with people pulling across the footpath to get to the supermarket," she said.
McDonald said she hoped the consent conditions contained strong traffic mitigation measures and advocated for traffic lights to be installed at the intersection of Peachgrove Rd and East St.
"I know for some people in the immediate vicinity this decision is probably a very good thing because at the moment there is no supermarket in this area and that's a real problem but I just think it's still in the wrong place.
"There was a perfectly functional supermarket on Heaphy Tce but that was downgraded from a New World to a Four Square store. I know that's the competition but that store was in a far better location and Heaphy Tce is a less busy arterial."
Walker said Progressive Enterprises had undertaken comprehensive traffic planning and planned a new pedestrian crossing island in Peachgrove Rd and at the site entry points.
The development was planned for the second half of next year.
Peachgrove Foodmarket owner Maggie Xu said the proposed supermarket would affect her business but was confident her customers would stay loyal.
"If you're doing a big buy then supermarkets are cheaper but if you're just after a few items then it's quicker and easier to shop here," Xu said.
"We make people feel welcome and we're convenient. There are a lot of supermarkets around but dairies survive for a reason."