Supermarket complex one step closer

By Abigail Hartevelt

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Residents of Rotorua's eastern suburbs are still to find out if a "supermarket-based neighbourhood centre" in Lynmore has been given the go-ahead.

The proposed complex, known as Lynmore Junction, is still to get the green light after a statutory hearings subcommittee meeting this week at the Rotorua District Council. The two-day hearing will be completed next week.

Rotorua developers Holmes Group, which owns the 2.7ha Te Ngae Rd site, applied for resource consent in December last year to develop the more than $10 million centre, which is expected to create almost 300 jobs.

The site, which was formerly Holmes Packaging opposite the entrance to Iles Rd, was sold in 2000 and is leased to Sealed Air (New Zealand).

Sealed Air Rotorua announced in April it was proposing to consolidate its Rotorua manufacturing operations to its site in Hamilton.

Holmes Group managing director Ryan Holmes has said Lynmore Junction would include a supermarket, fast food outlet, medical centre, service station, other convenience retail as well as 379 car parks.

The large building currently on site would be refurbished for the supermarket and the rest of the buildings on the site would be demolished and the site rebuilt.

Mr Holmes said they were keen to ensure the convenience retail areas of the centre were occupied by quality brands, generally new to Rotorua, that would not cause retailers in the CBD to relocate.

The council received 69 submissions to the proposal, with 54 in support, five providing conditional support, and nine opposed to the complex.

The majority who supported the proposal cited the creation of jobs and the need for a supermarket in the eastern suburbs, as well as increased property values.

Those opposing the application were concerned about the new complex taking business away from other parts of Te Ngae Rd and Rotorua's CBD, an increase in traffic congestion, increased noise, and decreased property values.

Rotorua's Len Watson said retail activity in Rotorua's CBD was gradually depleting, with more than 90 vacant shops due to the increase in retail activity in other parts of the city.

"Converting the property to retail will simply be another nail in the coffin of existing Rotorua retail activities."

One submitter said they would support a supermarket and service station as long as there were restrictions on other retail activity, while another supported the development as long as the tenants did not sell alcohol or provide any form of gambling.

Another opponent said the eastern suburbs were already well serviced by takeaways, petrol stations and convenience stores.

The New Zealand Transport Agency supported the development as long as traffic lights were installed at the intersection of Iles Rd and Te Ngae Rd, and the final layout design was done in consultation with the agency.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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