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Divisive consent to be assessed

Submissions have closed for the Fresh Choice resource consent in Greytown, but those opposed to Woolworths’ proposed accessway continue to push back.

Woolworths New Zealand has applied to create a new Fresh Choice accessway to the town’s Main St to mitigate health and safety risks caused by trucks in the current carpark.

On Wednesday, local business owner Lorraine Hall presented to South Wairarapa District Council on behalf of the community group Greytown Safety on Main St.

Safety on Main St’s issues with the proposal, now in its third iteration, came down to safety issues for road and footpath users, the preservation of the copper beech and lancewood trees on the site, and the proposed sign’s size and illumination.

Hall said it is Woolworths’ responsibility to find another solution.

“It’s an issue with Fresh Choice’s car park, so why should it impact the rest of the town and its safety?” Hall asked.

“With global warming and climate change, we’d be foolish not to try and protect these heritage trees.”

Hall presented a petition with 1469 signatures opposing the proposal – previously presented to Mayor Martin Connelly on May 23 – although it was noted not all the signatories are residents of Greytown.

When asked if this detail changes the significance of the petition, Hall said much of Greytown’s support and business traffic comes from those who live elsewhere.

“Most of my business comes from outside Greytown,” said Hall.

“The reason those people come to Greytown is because it’s a heritage town, it’s unique. No disrespect to Carterton or Eketāhuna – we’re a destination and we have to protect it.”

A spokesperson for the council said the planning team is currently working on setting a suitable hearing date with the commissioner, processing planner, and applicant.

The council will assess a current and suitable commissioner for the hearing from a list provided by the Ministry for the Environment.

To meet the council’s statutory timeframes, a hearing will take place by the end of September unless Woolworths New Zealand pauses the application.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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