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Owners of a vacant Hawera service station will face off with its neighbours this week in an attempt to reopen their business.
Gasoline Alley Services Ltd (GAS) has applied for resource consent to open its Tawhiti Rd premises, almost three years after it closed because there was no-one available to operate the station.
The location has been used as a petrol station since the 1980s and, despite being empty, the signs and petrol pumps have remained.
However, Michael and Sheryl Shen, who operate the neighbouring Nolantown Dairy, oppose the application, citing concerns over noise, traffic and safety.
The only other person in opposition is Zhenseng Lu, who owns the dairy. He lives in Whanganui.
Mrs Shen said although they did not have any problems with the service station when they first started at the dairy, they now had fears about whether it would be safe, especially for their young family.
The Shens have a young son and another child due in March.
In her written submissions to council, she said the reopening of the service station would mean an end to their quiet and safe street.
"Our slow-paced and peaceful residential area will become a noisy, smelly, dangerous traffic hub," said Mrs Shen.
She said their opposition to the consent was not a case of sour grapes due to any potential loss in income which may result should the station reopen. She said it would have "just a little" impact on their business.
"But sometimes they bring us customers too," she said.
She said, unlike other tenants around the area, she and her husband had signed up to a long-term contract to manage the dairy and could not easily move if they had any problems.
The move by GAS is supported by South Taranaki District Council planner Maria Cashmore, who will recommend consent be granted when the issue is discussed at a special environment and hearings committee on Thursday. A number of resource conditions are also recommended, including the construction of a two-metre fence along the property's eastern boundary and training for all staff handling hazardous substances.
A council decision on the consent is likely within 15 working days of the hearing.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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