Eight years after Woolworths NZ first pitched a proposal for a new accessway at Greytown’s FreshChoice supermarket, the supermarket chain’s resource consent application has failed to charm.
It was the third revision of a resource consent application to establish an accessway for delivery trucks and improved signage on SH2, Woolworths having previously lodged iterations in 2015 and 2022.
This third proposal recently went through a two-day hearing with independent commissioner Lindsay Daysh.
During the hearing, Daysh heard from Woolworths representatives and experts, several of the 77 submitters opposing the proposal, Waka Kotahi representatives, and South Wairarapa District Council experts.
In his decision – which was released late yesterday afternoon – Daysh summed the reasons set by Woolworths for requiring the accessway, including a constrained current parking space for delivery vehicles and lack of visibility of the supermarket from SH2 on Main St, and noted that “while the positive effects are recognised, the creation of a new access from the highway needs to be very well justified”.
It appears Woolworths’ justification was not sufficient as Daysh continued to unpack the objections brought up in the hearing, the most significant issues raised being aspects of traffic and pedestrian safety, heritage values, and the fate of a beloved copper beech tree on the site of the proposed development.
Daysh concluded that the environmental effects of the proposal would be “more than minor” and adequate mitigation was not possible.
He noted that if the consent were to be granted, the conditions proposed by the applicant would have been appropriate, but they were not enough to avoid adverse effects laid out by submitters, as well as traffic and heritage experts.
On this basis, Daysh declined the resource consent application in his decision.