Supermarket key to road plans

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 06:42 08/11/2012

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Plans to designate land on Featherston St to pave the way for its four-laning at the busy Rangitikei St intersection in Palmerston North have been put on hold as negotiations continue.

The Palmerston North City Council advertised its intention in June to designate a 6-metre strip of the Countdown supermarket and further land between Rangitikei St and Ngata St.

Its case was expected to be heard at a planning commissioners’ hearing next week on proposed District Plan change 10.

But policy planner Daniel Batley said the council asked for the matter to be deferred while negotiations continued with submitters.

Countdown’s parent company, Progressive Enterprises, said the loss of 44 car parks would hurt its business, and put it in breach of its resource consent.

In its submission, it said the council should have to pay to provide alternative parking to make up for the loss, and should also pay to reinstate landscaping, planting and signage.

The landscaping includes a ‘‘Maori Princess’’ pohutukawa on the corner of the intersection that was planted in 1985. 

The designation was also challenged by the owner of properties on the opposite side of Rangitikei St, Angelo Heliciopolos.

He said the council should consider alternative ways to relieve traffic congestion, such as diverting more vehicles along Grey St.

Road planning team leader David Lane said the council was taking another look at the project to see if there were ways it could accommodate the submitters’ concerns.

The four-laning is a long-term project, with no money in the budget for the next 10 years to carry out the works.

However, there is an allowance to buy and resell property over the next three years.

The project had been proposed to make the intersection safer – there have been nearly 100 crashes at the intersection in a five-year period, with two people seriously injured, and 24 suffering minor injuries.

Motorists’ frustration at delays and subsequent risk-taking contributed to peak-hour crashes.

Mr Lane said creating more lanes on Featherston St would enable more traffic to cross with the green light, potentially reducing delays for road users on Rangitikei St as well.

The council has already bought a strip of land along the front of the new Mitre 10 complex in anticipation of the four-laning.

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- Manawatu Standard

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