Neighbours want say on Whangarei supermarket expansion

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Geoff and Deborah Seerup are hoping Progressive Enterprises won't be granted resource consent for "discretionary activities" as part of a new development at its Regent Countdown site. PHOTO/Michael Cunningham
Geoff and Deborah Seerup are hoping Progressive Enterprises won't be granted resource consent for "discretionary activities" as part of a new development at its Regent Countdown site. PHOTO/Michael Cunningham

It's just a stone's throw from his back garden but Geoff Seerup is concerned that he has not been able to take part in a discussion around a Countdown expansion which could see the supermarket open up access to its Regent store from his residential street.

The Wallace St resident, along with his wife Deborah, is hoping last week's hearing into Progressive Enterprises' application for resource consent will end well for them and the 22 other residents of Wallace St and Dinnis Ave who have submitted letters of opposition to the proposal.

Mr Seerup attended the hearing, where Independent Commissioner Justine Bray heard submissions from Whangarei District Council (WDC) planners, Progressive Enterprises and one of the Wallace St residents notified of the application, Marilyn Andela.

WDC planners had recommended granting resource consent for a number of changes including Progressive's plans to open up Wallace St for access to the supermarket's service traffic.

Despite assurances from planners and Progressive's planning consultants, Mr Seerup, an engineer by trade, says "the door is not closed on the matter".

He contacted the planners before Christmas, after a neighbour told him about the proposal, hoping to have a say.

"I was told I wasn't affected. I'm closer to this than other residents who were contacted," he said.

The Seerups have owned their Wallace St home for 12 years and were concerned about traffic movement, high fencing, noise and the impact on the quiet street where few houses are fenced.

"I just want someone to come out and see for themselves," he said.

Mr Seerup wrote to the council in December and was told in a reply that he did have a right to appeal the decision under the provisions of the Judicature Amendment Act 1972.

An assessment into the likely adverse effects on the environment or any persons had been carried out by WDC under Section 95 of the Resource Management Act 1991, which states that the local authority could use its discretion to decide if it would notify an application for resource consent.

In October, it was decided that the application was subject to "limited notification".

The assessment concluded that there would be a minor impact on some property owners on the street because of the vehicle crossing for delivery trucks. Notices were served to those three properties in November.

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