Noise, traffic the worry for neighbours

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2014

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The scope of consultation will be used in an attempt to nix New Plymouth's newest supermarket proposal at an independent hearing today.

Brooklands Development Ltd has proposed building the city's fourth Countdown supermarket on Hori St in Vogeltown. The supermarket is surrounded on all sides by residential homes but just 11 homes have been deemed affected parties and allowed to submit on the proposal.

One of those, Simon Mitchell, will today submit the developers did not take account of the noise and traffic supermarket employees would create coming and going from work.

He said according to the council's district plan, vehicle equivalent movements at such a development could not be more than 16 between 10pm and 7am, the hours the supermarket is closed.

But workers coming and going would break that rule Mitchell said, even though the developer had not applied to break it.

"It changes the whole thing," he said.

"They are going to be closing their car doors, saying hello and all the interaction and slamming doors. That was never assessed. If it did that would mean a whole lot more people would be deemed affected."

It would not matter if supermarket employees parked in the supermarket car park or on the street, their coming and going would create noise and disturb the sleep of people who had not been allowed to make submissions on the proposal, Mitchell said.

Traffic on Hori St is expected to increase by 3225 vehicles a day to 8853.

Just two of those parties were expected to be affected by more than minor noise and though they initially objected they have since withdrawn their submissions against and made ones in support.

In March close to 30 neighbours packed into the New Plymouth District Council chambers to express their disgust at being left out of the process, even though the supermarket would be their new neighbour.

Some of their concerns have since been addressed. No deliveries will take place outside of the hours of 7am to 10pm.

A three-sided acoustic screen will be put up around the mechanical plant on the roof of the supermarket and some properties will get new fences.

Council officers have recommended the supermarket proposal go ahead with a few other tweaks and, if given the green light by independent hearings commissioner Bill Wasley, it will be built within six months.

Warrick Quinn and Rochelle West's home borders the development but they have been deemed unaffected parties by the council.

They said the council's recommendations were disappointing and it appeared the supermarket was a fait accompli.

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"We are particularly disappointed that the council hasn't recommended 2m-high acoustic fences be built on all properties bordering the site.

"Some are likely to get fencing, while others, such as ourselves, are not.

"It's puzzling considering it's been highlighted the noisiest aspect of the supermarket will be the delivery trucks to and from the loading bay at the back of the site, which borders our property," Quinn said.

Brooklands Development Ltd said they had great community support.

"We're working through the Resource Management Act process and we are hoping for a positive outcome."

- Taranaki Daily News

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