New site for Countdown?

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 19/10/2013
timaru showgrounds

PLANS: Developments planned at the Timaru Showgrounds site.

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Timaru looks set to get another supermarket with Countdown eyeing up the retail development site on the Showgrounds Hill.

Calder Stewart has set out plans for stage one of the project with Countdown as an anchor tenant.

The supermarket will cover 3800 square metres. A total of 17,000sqm and 640 car parks are drawn into the first stage of the development, with tenancy sizes ranging from 500 to 2000sqm. In addition to the supermarket, 10 smaller stores are also planned.

Stage two of the project would see a possible six more stores and car parking.

The Timaru District Council has incorporated the changes into its district plan.

Land transport manager Andrew Dixon said a consent would be issued for new traffic lights at the Evans St-Grant Rd intersection. No application had yet been received for a building consent.

Mr Dixon said a few issues had to be resolved regarding resource consent. The traffic lights would have to be installed before the development could go ahead.

Countdown general manager for property, Adrian Walker, said it was early days working with Calder Stewart through the wider project.

"We have two great supermarkets and store teams in Timaru already, so we'd see a third store complementing these by bringing more choice to Timaru rather than changing anything.

"We're working with the developer of this site to potentially bring a new Countdown supermarket to Timaru, but it's very early days and the developer is still working through the wider project; a further store would complement the two so that would be our expectation."

Calder Stewart managing director Alan Stewart said: "It's a good positive project for Timaru, and the fact we have good strong national brand interest in the South Canterbury market shows people have a desire to do business here."

The development was given the green light in December 2011 after a lengthy consent process.

A dispute developed between Calder Stewart and the council, which wanted to control small-scale development at the site in a move to protect the central business district.

The Timaru Retailers' Association had raised concerns the development would entice retailers from the CBD.

Calder Stewart lodged an appeal in the Environment Court over a condition of the scheme change which effectively gave the council final say over retailers in smaller premises - between 500sqm and 1000sqm - operating from the site.

Extensive planning got under way three years ago, including reports into geotechnical aspects because of the earthquakes in Christchurch.

Initially it was thought a Bunnings outlet would be built there, but that company's yesterday general manager Jacqui Coombes said Timaru was not being considered for a store at present.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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