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Not pleased with choice

Woolworths NZ’s third attempt to push a resource consent across the line for an additional access point to Greytown’s supermarket has not placated disgruntled residents and business owners.

At a meeting hosted by Greytown Safety on Main St last week, emotions ran high as the latest application to establish a driveway to the Fresh Choice supermarket at 134 Main St failed to impress locals any more than the previous two iterations.

There are currently over 1100 signatures online and on paper opposing the proposal, which is nearly half of Greytown’s population of 2466 according to the 2018 census.

The application maintains the driveway would allow one-way passage for service delivery vehicles, thereby eliminating a health and safety risk from trucks manoeuvring in the carpark.

Greytown resident Sandy Palmer said the latest application, intended to appease concerned community members, was a “pointless self-serving proposal” with no redeeming features.

“What makes them so special that they think they can do this?” she said.

“Essentially, this proposal is much the same as the last one, pretending it’s not and hoping no one will notice a slight shift in emphasis.”

Although this application had new sections about preserving the copper beech tree, Palmer noted SWDC had also received an application for a Certificate of Compliance from Woolworths on April 21 to cut down the tree.

“One has to wonder why they’re doing this, having spent so much time, paper and consultation saying actually we agree, we’ll do the right thing by the Greytown people,” Palmer said.

“Then they contradict themselves.”

One resident said the heavy lorries and vehicles, which would be driving over the root base of the tree in the proposed access way, were sure to lead to the tree’s demise.

“Done deal, this will end up a dead tree standing. It is disingenuous.”

Another significant change to the new application was the assurance that delivery trucks would only use the access way from the south, to mitigate the issues that a right turn off Main St by 23-metre-long b-trains heading south would cause to traffic and pedestrian visibility.

However, SWDC councillor Aaron Woodcock said this would result in a raft of new problems, consisting of an increased volume of large trucks using West St to navigate making the left turn.

“That road is getting hammered. Wear and tear on that road becomes even more of an issue, because you have twice the volume of trucks.”

Palmer said she and the local community feel that the access way, even in its third revision, would be an accident waiting to happen.

“Child versus truck,” said Palmer.

“It’s also extremely ugly.”

Another point of pain is the proposed sign that would be erected and illuminated on Main St.

Although the size had been reduced from the previous application’s square meterage of 10.1m2 to 3.7m2, it still remained 7.4 times the size of district council regulations.

Greytown Heritage Trust spokesperson Carmel Ferguson said the applicant showed “complete disregard for the detrimental effects” that would result from the proposal.

“They will help destroy the look and feel of the town and put all businesses at risk,” said Carmel.

“It is both short-sighted and very antisocial.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Martin Connelly was not present at the meeting, but later confirmed his opposition to the proposal and even committed to a hypothetical boycott of the supermarket.

Connelly called the proposed sign on Greytown’s Main St “one of the stupidest things” he had seen.

Woolworths NZ said that, as they continue to work through the consent application process, they look forward to hearing the different views and feedback from the community.

    Submissions close
    on May 23.

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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