Retail giant supports public input
The backers of a Pak 'n Save supermarket blocked from building on the Frankton Flats are supporting a call for a public say on whether the budget grocery outlet ultimately gets the green light.
Pak 'n Save, along with a Mitre 10 Mega store, which together would cause a $50 million Queenstown construction boom and create dozens of fulltime jobs, both received resource consent to build on the Frankton Flats in 2012.
However, the green light to build was suddenly turned to red by an Environment Court decision not to allow the land earmarked for construction to be rezoned to allow retail activity.
Lawyer for would parent company Foodstuffs South Island, Nic Soper ,signalled the company would be filing an appeal to the High Court on Environment Court Judge Jane Borthwick's ruling when it was issued last month.
On Wednesday Shotover Park - the property owner of the block the cut-price retail giants were slated to be built on - announced it had also filed a High Court appeal on Judge Borthwick's decision.
Spokesman for Shotover Park parent company The Porter Group, Alastair Porter, called for the complexity of the zoning ruling - which he said had confused even the group's resource consent specialist who had more than 20 years' experience - to be stripped and made transparent, and that the people of Queenstown needed to have a say in shaping their own future.
Foodstuffs South Island general manager of property and retail development Roger Davidson yesterday backed Mr Porter's call.
"Without having done a survey, we know anecdotally that people in Queenstown are keen to see a Pak 'n Savee built there because having a low-cost grocery outlet relates very closely to affordable living," he said.
Mr Davidson urged the Queenstown Lakes District Council to cut through the red tape surrounding the complex issue of zoning and do a survey to find out what their ratepayers wanted.
"The party that the people of Queenstown have elected - the council and their officers - should be duty-bound to find out what their ratepayers want and duty- bound to put that in place."
Although he acknowledged the council had to remain impartial on any commercial venture, a survey could, and should be done without a particular focus on any brand or company, he said.
"This is all about affordable living, and opinions could be canvassed in a way that asks people what they want to see that would benefit their lifestyles and contribute to affordable living in Queenstown."
- © Fairfax NZ News