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NZTA enters Greytown consent battle

Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency [NZTA] has waded into a David and Goliath battle, embroiling residents and a supermarket giant on Greytown’s Main St.
In a letter to the South Wairarapa District Council last month, NZTA said it could not support the resource consent application for a third entrance to Greytown’s Fresh Choice Supermarket in its current form.
The application lodged in June by Fresh Choice parent company Woolworths New Zealand proposed a goods access to the supermarket from State Highway 2 at 134 Main St.
The proposal was a near duplicate of one submitted and subsequently withdrawn in 2015, and has faced vehement opposition from locals on both occasions.
The transport agency outlined multiple concerns with the district council regarding the latest resource consent application.
It said its “primary concern” was pedestrian crossing safety caused by an increase in large delivery vehicles using, queuing, and turning into the proposed driveway access.
In recent weeks, South Wairarapa residents have spoken out about the safety of crossings, with a mobility scooter user suffering serious injury after a crash on a crossing in
Greytown on September 27.
NZTA said compromising the safety of the pedestrian crossing near the Hastwell St intersection, which was in a strategic location in town, was “not acceptable”.
It said the current application did not account for the large B-train trucks [22 metres long, 4m high] queuing from the north to turn into the driveway, blocking not only the pedestrian crossing but associated sightlines.
“Due to the proximity of the proposed access to the pedestrian crossing, the intended use and the type of vehicles using the access, it is considered that this conflict cannot be resolved while maintaining a right turn into the site.”
It said the applicant would need to demonstrate how it would restrict vehicles to ‘left in only’, considering signage alone to be insufficient.
However, it warned a ‘left in only’ option could result in additional concerns being raised.
In a further blow, NZTA said the proposed entrance at 134 Main St currently failed to meet the 160m-separation distance from the nearby intersection – a measurement stipulated by the New Zealand Transport Agency Planning Policy Manual.
It said the application would also need to address stormwater runoff from the site, and demonstrate that peak stormwater flow to the SH2 network would not increase with the development.
The impact of heavy vehicles on the pavement, the loss of on-street parking, cyclist safety, the proposed Fresh Choice signage on Main St, and the width of the access were also raised as concerns by NZTA.
“Waka Kotahi does not support the proposal in its current form due to the safety effects on the pedestrian crossing and the remaining unresolved concerns set out in this letter,” it said.
NZTA said alternative options that resolved the conflicts would be assessed based on merit.
“It should be noted that any alternative options will require a full assessment by Waka Kotahi, and additional concerns not listed in this letter may be raised as relevant to that option.”
The status of the consent, held by SWDC, is currently ‘on hold’.

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