Panel backs Veggie Boys' Mosgiel operation

Allowing Veggie Boys to continue to operate at Wal's Plant and Fun Land at Mosgiel is not likely to create a precedent, hearings commissioner David Benson-Pope says.

A consent for a retail sales outlet at the Bush Rd site has been granted by a panel chaired by Mr Benson-Pope, on behalf of the Dunedin City Council.

Veggie Boys operates alongside Wal's Nursery which had expanded from a nursery selling plants grown on-site, to sales of garden supplies and some plants and produce grown off-site, to a mini-golf and miniature train operation and a cafe, permitted through a series of six resource consents issued since 2007.

At a hearing in April, submitters expressed concern about the additional retail outlet setting a precedent that would allow grocery stores to operate in rural areas and its impact on the council's spatial plan.

Mr Benson-Pope said in making its decision the panel had considered the issue of the district plan and the impact granting consent would have on rural and activity zones.

It considered any perceived precedent was limited, ''as there are no other instances where the same range of authorised activities exists on a single site''.

The panel considered the extent to which the site had been developed and was satisfied it would not be out of keeping with the existing environment, he said.

As the spatial plan was not yet a statutory document, there was uncertainty as to how it would operate, so it could only be given limited weight in the decision.

The spatial plan did not support any changes to Mosgiel's commercial centre and the panel did not believe granting the consent would lead to a commercial centre being established at Wal's nursery.

Overall, the panel believed the Veggie Boys business was in character with the existing recreational and retail activities already on site, Mr Benson Pope said.

Submitters had 15 working days from receiving the decision to appeal it to the Environment Court.

 

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