Kapiti Coast retailer criticises precinct plan

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 03/11/2012

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The  biggest retailer on the Kapiti Coast is strongly opposing parts of a proposed town-centre plan to develop retail, commercial and community sectors.

Coastlands chairman of directors Bruce Mansell presented a lawyer's letter to a Kapiti Coast District Council committee meeting this week saying the council should have consulted with Coastlands "properly".

Coastlands only last week received a draft copy of the plan, which includes proposals for areas of Coastlands' land to be used for public roads, Mr Mansell said.

At the committee meeting, the plan was approved to be included in the district plan review.

"This provides no time for it to be properly assessed or for council to consider Coastlands' comments," Mr Mansell said. "It saddens me the council fails to recognise the key role we play in the district."

The plan contains an objective to "strengthen the role and function of the existing Coastlands development to better provide for the community's retail, social and commercial needs than has been undertaken to date".

Mr Mansell said Coastlands strongly objected to the plan's criticism of its operations and the threat that, if substantial redevelopment did not occur, the council would look at opening up other areas for retailing.

The plan is divided into four precincts allowing for retail, commercial, civic and community development and includes residential apartments above offices and medium-density housing.

Driveways through Coastlands and Kapiti Lights would become public streets. The zone encompasses shops alongside State Highway 1, Coastlands, Kapiti Lights and the western side of Rimu Rd where Paraparaumu Library, Paraparaumu Community Centre and the yet-to-be-built civic building and aquatic centre are situated.

The Kapiti expessway will form the western border.

The report presented to the committee said "retail leakage" was a problem in the area.

"It is clear Kapiti shoppers are voting with their wallets . . . 31 per cent of retail expenditure is outside the district."

Ballantynes Fashion Central Paraparaumu manager Pat Duff said Coastlands could do with some competition.

"They have all too much the same," Mrs Duff said.

The plan will be notified at the end of this month and open for submissions in the new year.

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- The Dominion Post

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