Zone change for new Richmond Countdown seen as 'unbelievably stupid'
A zone change that paves the way for a new Countdown supermarket in Richmond, near Nelson, has been called "unbelievably stupid" by a neighbouring resident.
The private plan change request from Progressive Enterprises to rezone 1.32 hectares of residential land on the corner of Champion and Salisbury roads was "approved with modifications" by the Tasman District Council.
In a public notice published on Saturday, the council says the rezoning would not take place until after any possible appeals were resolved.
The proposed new Countdown would be built on land previously owned by Waimea Richmond Funeral Services, and is opposite a new Caltex petrol station currently being built.
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Marchwood Grove resident Jim Wareing, a former TDC engineer, said he was "very annoyed" by the decision and felt "very disappointed" with the process.
"We've had zero support from the council, councillors and staff.
"There's a million things we're not happy with, not the least of which is the fact it [the supermarket] shouldn't be there, the land should be residential."
Wareing said the decision to allow rezoning was "unbelievably stupid" and that the traffic impact on their part of Richmond would be huge.
He said the proposed upgrade for the roundabout wasn't going to solve the traffic problem that was "getting worse and worse".
"You can't get through the roundabout about four times during the day. Whatever they're doing about the roundabout they're just adding to the problem."
The decision follows the recommendations of independent commissioner David McMahon, who was under delegation from the district council. His recommendations were made to the council, which considered the matter behind closed doors on Wednesday June 14.
The council was notified in March 2016 and McMahon heard submissions on the proposal in October.
Progressive Enterprises, which owns Countdown supermarkets, requested a private plan change to have the land changed from residential to commercial zoning.
Countdown spokesman James Walker said they were "really pleased" the site had been rezoned.
The proposed 3,200 square metre Countdown supermarket and a 200 square metre small retail/commercial development, a 600 square metre community/commercial facility, associated car parking, access and landscaping will still need resource consent, but the approved rezoning has paved the way.
McMahon noted in his recommendations that "before any of the retail, commercial or community activities ... commence within the Richmond North Commercial Zone, the roundabout at the intersection of Salisbury Road and Champion Road" needs to be upgraded.
He also noted "the upgrade works must be constructed within three years" of the design and engineering plans being certified by council.
Tasman District Council environmental policy manager Barry Johnson said there is a 30-day appeal period.
"[We] cannot confirm whether there will be any opportunity for the public to comment on the resource consent applications without seeing the details of the applications."