Council stance upsets Mitre 10 Mega
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
The Mitre 10 Mega store backer facing an appeal by Queenstown's district council is angry about what could become a protracted, costly fight, saying the council's stance "does not add up".
Crossroads Ltd director Jason Smith immediately railed against news the Queenstown Lakes District Council would mount an appeal against the $20 million store, when the council made the decision behind closed doors in a public excluded meeting on Friday.
Yesterday Mr Smith told The Southland Times it seemed like the council "had one set of rules for itself, and one set of rules for everyone else," and singled out Queenstown Mayor Vanessa van Uden as a driver of the appeal.
"I'm sorry Madam Mayor, but the grounds for defence of your appeal are simply not credible," Mr Smith said.
The store's proposed site is on the Frankton Flats, Queenstown's last patch of flat land suitable for large retail development, which has been set aside under the council's plan change 19 for industrial activity.
"If QLDC are so concerned that there is a shortage of industrial land on the Frankton Flats, why are they seeking that 9.36ha of their land be zoned to allow retail uses?" The council had also granted Placemakers, a building supply and hardware store, a non-complying resource consent on largely rural use land, which was very close to the proposed Mitre 10 Mega store, Mr Smith said.
"And they were happy to do this on a non-notified basis and with no consultation with the adjoining rural land owner."
Ms van Uden would not comment on Mr Smith's stance:
"I'm not interested in engaging Mr Smith through the media at all. My door is always open," she said.
However, the council's planning and policy general manager Philip Pannet elaborated on the details of the council's appeal - and the reason a similar appeal was not being mounted against a Pak'nSave supermarket slated to be built next door to the proposed Mitre 10 Mega store.
“The Pak'nSave and Mega sites, under council rules, are zoned differently. The Mega site is zoned pure industrial. That means council considers that site should be used for small business such as panelbeaters and mechanics.
"The Pak'nSave site on the other is zoned ‘showroom retail'. The appeal is based completely on the desire to preserve pure industrial land for the small business community."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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