By Hayley Gastmeier
The owner of FreshChoice in Greytown wants the development of a new entranceway to go ahead, despite the resource consent being pulled.
The project for the supermarket, which is within the historical precinct of the town, included a vehicle entrance/exit from Main St, a new sign visible from the state highway, and a carpark extension.
But supermarket company Progressive Enterprises have surrendered the consent, bringing the development to a halt.
This comes after pressure group Friends of Historic Greytown called for a judicial review of the South Wairarapa District Council’s decision to grant the application without public notification.
The pressure group said in January the development could have a “detrimental effect” on Greytown’s historic character.
Franchise owner Chris Ward said he was “not disappointed” with the parent company’s decision to revoke the consent, which did not necessarily “mean the project is at an end”.
“If they deemed it necessary to withdraw the application it’s probably because of some strategic decision they will make that will allow a way forward, whatever that way forward may be, to progress unhindered.”
General Manager for property at Progressive Enterprises, Adrian Walker, said currently no decision had been made as to whether another application would be made.
Mr Ward said the group would be looking at options.
“And whatever they may be, there will be something in it that will be a positive outcome for us and the town.”
The reasons that deemed the development necessary in the first place still stood, Mr Ward said.
“I would hope they continue with an entry/exit or an entry or an exit or some such means of creating visibility for the business from the main street.”
He said safety was also a factor.
“It’s a challenge in the car park because at the moment [service trucks] have to reverse in and you can imagine reversing large trucks through a car park where there are vehicles and pedestrians is not ideal.
“It makes for a cleaner, easier delivery of stock, it makes for a more appealing street frontage,” Mr Ward said.
“What we do will be in keeping with the look of the town so when it is finished, as is the case with The Hub, it will be better than it is now.”
He said “whatever it is Progressive decide to do with that land… it will be value added when it’s done”.
The one disappointment from the saga for Mr Ward was the fate of the copper beech tree, on the site where the development was set to go ahead.
The project proposal included the voluntary retention of the large tree, however an assessment commissioned by Progressive Enterprises revealed the tree was already dying – “they reckon it’s probably got four or five years left in it”.
“The conclusion that [the arborist] came to was the works that we were proposing were appropriate to preserve the tree, but the tree was already dying because of the construction of the building next door which has already encroached beneath the canopy.”