NPD to stick with fuel site


Fuel company NPD will push on with its self-service petrol station in central Amberley, but has offered an olive branch to those opposing the site.

The organisers of petitions, signed by nearly 1000 people objecting to the use of a site in the heart of Amberley, recently met representatives of the Nelson-based firm to present the community's concerns.

A petition organiser, Tony Trewinnard, says NPD has since come back to the group saying it took nearly three years to identify a suitable site in the town, and it was committed to continuing with the development.

''They tell us their arrival will be a win-win for NPD, the Amberley community, and the retail sector,'' Mr Trewinnard says.

''Naturally we are disappointed at this response, which doesn't seem to reflect the depth of community concern.''

NPD has offered the temporary use of its future retail space for community car washes and sausage sizzles, and has established a community fund which will see 1 cent per litre of fuel sold in the first three months at Amberley donated to a local community group.

It has also promoted future discussion between the newly elected council and the local community, he says.

''These are small wins for our community,'' Mr Trewinnard says. ''But stopping this development was always going to be an uphill battle, after the council left the community on the back foot by not disclosing the consents application when it arrived on their desk in early April.

''NPD listened respectfully and with care to our concerns.

''They were mindful of the investment they had already made in purchasing the land and in obtaining consents for the site, but agreed to think about how they might be able to help the community.''The petitions, which had been tabled at the Hurunui District Council meeting the previous week, called for NPD to pause its plans and look for alternative sites in Amberley.

NPD intends to start work on the site in six weeks. It hopes to be open for business early next year.

Mr Trewinnard says while others might want to continue to protest at the development, he felt there was little to be gained by any further action.



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