Neighbours mull supermarket appeal

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 27/06/2014

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Countdown has been given the green light to set up on New Plymouth's Hori St, but neighbours have slammed the decision as "back-handed dealing".

Yesterday Commissioner Bill Wasley approved Brooklands Development's consent to build a Countdown supermarket on Hori St in Vogeltown.

Brian Powell, neighbour of the site, criticised the process that led to the decision.

He said the council selected the bare minimum of affected parties possible and had excluded many neighbours from speaking out against the supermarket that would be going in their backyard.

"The amount of people who did not get to submit on this is staggering," he said. "It was a dodgy move from the council and it's coming off as being back-handed dealing."

He said when home owners wanted to subdivide their section they had to get consent from all of their neighbours, but the council didn't afford the same opportunity to the neighbours of Countdown.

The David vs Goliath battle was a sad example of how ratepayers of the district were sold out in favour of accommodating big businesses, he said.

Fellow Hori St resident Simon Mitchell was seeking legal advice on the consent decision and was considering appealing the decision and taking it to the Environment Court. He said the New Zealand Land Transport Standard said high-volume driveways onto arterial roads, as the Countdown supermarket entrance and exit would be, should be banned or at least strongly discouraged.

"That's because they are dangerous," he said. "It's a key issue that is in everyone's best interest and it is an issue that hasn't been addressed."

Powell said he did not disagree with a supermarket going in the Vogeltown area, but he believed that site was totally unsuitable.

"It is surrounded by residential properties. Put anything there, but please, not a supermarket," he said.

Neighbours were fearful of the increase in traffic and the noise from the construction and the day-to-day running of the supermarket, he said. "They operate all hours and will have staff coming and going all night," he said.

However, as a part of granting consent commissioner Wasley also imposed conditions on the developers.

Prior to the construction work starting the developers would have to submit a Construction Management Plan to council for approval.

The plan had to include a timetable, details of dust control management, noise management, traffic control and pedestrian safety plans.

The developer would also have to give the on-site construction manager's telephone number to residents so they could have a direct contact if they had any complaints.

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Wasley also ruled that no construction loud enough to be heard from outside of the site could take place on Sundays, public holidays, or outside the hours of 9am and 4pm.

Also, when the supermarket opened no service vehicles would be allowed on site between the hours of 10pm and 7am.

"I have come to the conclusion that the application be granted consent, and that any effects arising from the proposal can be adequately mitigated, avoided or remedied," Wasley said in his hearing report.

- Taranaki Daily News

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