Plea for traffic lights at supermarket

LOIS CAIRNS AND ALAN WOOD
Last updated 12:32 14/02/2013

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The Christchurch City Council has deferred making a decision on whether to install traffic lights outside a planned supermarket in Redcliffs.

Foodstuffs says the lights are a must before it rebuilds its Redcliffs New World supermarket, but it has been unable to reach an agreement with the council over who should foot the $500,000 bill for the lights.

In a departure from normal policy, the Hagley-Ferrymead Community Board recommended that the council "urgently fund" the lights.

Its report was due to be considered by the full council today, but councillors decided to let the report lie on the table pending further discussions between the parties.

Foodstuffs' original supermarket in Redcliffs was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and was demolished in May that year.

It was granted a resource consent by the council to build a replacement supermarket, but in its application it made no mention of the need for traffic lights at the site.

The community board report said Foodstuffs thought lights were not needed but had since changed its thinking, deciding that lights at the site would "benefit the community".

The company is holding off applying for a building consent for a supermarket until the issue is resolved.

Rebecca Parish, from Foodstufs, was due to address the council on the matter yesterday but failed to show up.

Traffic lights 'a must'

Foodstuffs says the lights are a must before it rebuilds the Redcliffs New World supermarket.

The co-operative is not giving any time on a start to the project, saying it is awaiting traffic plans for the Main Rd-Augusta St development site.

The Hagley-Ferrymead Community Board, in board papers, says Foodstuffs has advised that it will not rebuild a supermarket on the site until traffic lights are installed.

The board has recommended that the Christchurch City Council "urgently fund" the installation of the traffic lights, and its report on the issue is due to be discussed at a council meeting today.

The report said Foodstuffs had not thought lights were needed but changed its thinking, deciding the controls would be for "the benefit of the community".

The lights are estimated to cost $500,000, and there was a suggestion that Foodstuffs might foot the bill, but South Island property and retail development general manager Roger Davidson said yesterday the company had not yet been asked for a contribution.

"We haven't been asked because I don't think it's totally been finalised from the council's perspective, what they're doing."

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The rebuild cost at Redcliffs was unknown, he said.

The co-operative, which owns the New World, Pak'n Save and Four Square brands, has received a resource consent for the Redcliffs project but has yet to lodge a building consent.

Davidson said the company was awaiting an update from the council on work to be done at the intersection and adjoining road and footpath areas.

The original supermarket was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and demolished in May that year.

City councillor and Hagley-Ferrymead board member Tim Carter said yesterday the board supported the Redcliffs community regaining its supermarket.

Foodstuffs wanted the lights "very strongly", he said.

Who would pay for the lights would be debated by the council.

"Normal practice is that the people who request ... pay for it," Carter said.

"However, this is potentially a special case. The community are really wanting to retain their supermarket.

"Council always has the ability to change policies on a case-by-case basis."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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