Approval granted for town’s second supermarket

The 3000sqm Countdown store between Centennial Ave and Ventry St, Alexandra, has been granted...
The 3000sqm Countdown store between Centennial Ave and Ventry St, Alexandra, has been granted resource consent and is expected to generate between 40 and 60 new jobs. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
A countdown supermarket in Alexandra has been granted resource consent and is set to break New World’s monopoly on large-scale grocery retail in the town.

In a decision dated January 12 and released by the Central Otago District Council yesterday, independent commissioner Gary Rae gave the development the green light.

Last year the proposal was dealt a blow when council’s senior planning officer, Oli Monthule-McIntosh, recommended resource consent for it be declined after developer CPD 2012 Ltd made a consent application in May.

His report included issues such as noise levels, traffic flow, and the economic impact — the matters he raised were within the legislative framework but prompted a backlash on social media.

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan later weighed in on the debate.

‘‘A lot of that talk fails to understand the legal process that the recommendation was made within.

‘‘That’s not surprising, because the law concerned [the Resource Management Act] is as complex as a Russian novel.’’

CPD representative Simon Wearing said the company was excited to be granted consent but it was still subject to a 15-working-day appeal period.

Mr Rae was commissioned to make a decision on the resource consent application for the 3000sqm supermarket on an 0.8ha site bordered by Centennial Ave and Ventry St, following a hearing held on November 23 and 24 last year.

The application was publicly notified on May 28 and 22 submissions were lodged — three neutral, seven opposed, and 12 in support.

Mr Wearing said many of the submitters who opposed the development had supported it in principle and opposed it based on certain aspects of the development that had since been mitigated.

He hoped all factors that had concerned submitters had been dealt with and there would be no appeals of Mr Rae’s decision.

‘‘The community is generally very supportive of a second supermarket in the town.’’

CPD had point-by-point dealt with the issues raised to meet the criteria for consent to be granted.

Before the hearing, it provided written confirmation it was not proceeding with a pharmacy or cafe as part of the application.

Several other amendments to the proposal were announced at the hearing, to also address matters raised in submissions and in a report, before all matters were concluded on December 23.

Mr Rae said he granted resource consent on the basis the proposed supermarket would bring significant economic and social benefits to the people of Alexandra, and the location at the interface of the residential and business zones was appropriate, given the lack of suitable sites in the business zone.

The proposal would inevitably result in a significant change to the residential character of Ventry St, but the adverse effects on residential amenity could be satisfactorily managed through the changes in design, other mitigation measures, and by the construction and ongoing operations to be in accordance with approved management plans, he said.

‘‘Consent can therefore appropriately be granted, subject to appropriate conditions.’’

Conditions for Countdown

Countdown Alexandra will be subject to a raft of conditions, including:

The opening hours of the supermarket must not be before 7am or after 10pm (seven days).

Deliveries to the loading area accessed from Ventry St arrive no earlier than 7am and no later than 8pm and deliveries to the front of the store via Centennial Ave are restricted to light vehicles, between 8pm and 7am.

Deliveries and any outdoor ‘‘back of house’’ activities such as waste disposal, or unloading delivery vehicles takes place between 8am and 5pm.

No external use of the loading area accessed from Ventry St before 7am and after 8pm.

Staff enter and exit the store at the beginning and end of their shift using the front entrance from Centennial Ave.

Operational activities must be conducted such that noise generated does not exceed the specific limits measured and assessed in accordance with New Zealand Standards.

Vehicles operating permanently at site (such as forklifts) must not be fitted with tonal reversing alarms. Where reversing warning is required, a broadband reversing alarm or other appropriate alternative devices must be used.

Any forklifts operating on the site shall be electric.

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