A long-anticipated hearing on a proposed supermarket accessway has begun in Greytown – eight years after the first resource consent application for the development was filed.
The application is for Woolworths NZ to develop an 8.3m accessway to the FreshChoice supermarket from SH2’s Main St in Greytown, as well as put up new signage.
Woolworth NZ’s rationale for the proposal is that the current car park layout is not safe or practical for delivery vehicles, while a new accessway could also improve the supermarket’s visibility to oncoming traffic on SH2.
The proposal has sparked outrage from a number of local residents and business owners, who have cited concerns about street and pedestrian safety, Greytown’s heritage values being compromised, and the potential fate of a beloved copper beech tree on the site for the proposed development.
The hearing – being held yesterday and today – involves the proposal, and objections to it, being put to independent commissioner Lindsay Daysh.
Representatives from Woolworths NZ, South Wairarapa District Council gathered yesterday for the first day of the hearing, along with arborist, transport, and heritage experts, and Greytown residents and submitters – prompting Daysh to comment on the number of attendees: “We’ve got a little bit of a crowd in the back.”
Speaking were Woolworths NZ representatives, applicant experts summoned for evidence, some of the 82 people who submitted to the council about the consent, and representatives from Waka Kotahi.
Today, Daysh will hear further submitters and council officers, as well as the applicant’s right of reply, before providing a summation to close the hearing.