FreshChoice supermarket has fired a broadside against a Greytown pressure group, saying they should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to stifle positive development, failing to listen and wasting money.
The "Friends of Historic Greytown", a Facebook group with 109 likes, is raising money to fund a judicial review of the South Wairarapa District Council's non-notified resource consent to allow FreshChoice supermarket a Main St access, extra parking and a supermarket sign on Main St.
The Facebook page says it has raised $41,000 in private donations and about $1800 from its Givealittle page.
The signage shown on the consent has drawn particular ire, with the group saying it clashes with the character of Greytown's historic look.
But FreshChoice co-owner Chris Ward says the sign is not going to be as shown on the consent.
"It is not going to be 5m high and 2m wide," said Mr Ward.
He said the consent shows a standard supermarket sign "out of the box", which was used in order to get the consent process done.
He said the final sign design will be designed by Greytown designer Jo Lysaght "in keeping with Greytown", with input from the Greytown Community Heritage Trust and the council.
"Believe me, there is no motivation to destroy the heritage of the town," said Mr Ward.
"We've been repeatedly saying this from the get-go, and I wish people would hear it."
He said if the company had chosen to tackle a "heritage" sign at the beginning of the process it would have taken 18 months of internal company discussion, holding up the resource consent.
"It was never going to be a quick and easy process to alter corporate branding to get a sign suitable for Greytown.
"That doesn't mean it's not doable -- it just takes time."
He said they would design a sign that "achieves our goal of having a Main St identity, that achieves the mission of FreshChoice, but commensurate with the feel of Main St.
"The only issue is a group of people who feel like they have got a moral obligation to look after that middle of the town."
He said the group was on Facebook "trumpeting" that they had raised money to fight the consent, without consideration for the good works, and the money, that FreshChoice put into the Greytown community -- "$40,000, and there are children at Kuranui College that don't get breakfast, families in Greytown that don't get Christmas dinner", said Mr Ward.
"We donate food to Kuranui [College] to support the breakfast club. We support schools, sports, kindergartens.
"If they are so damn community-minded, why don't [the group] do something positive rather than stifle good, positive community development?" he said.
"I invite anyone to come and talk to us, find out the facts before assuming all you hear is fact, because it absolutely isn't."
Mr Ward said the land was zoned commercial and the result would be "better than it was", and he could not see a judge turning it down.
"This is a horrible waste of time and money."
Friends of Historic Greytown spokeswoman Tania Williamson said the group had "no comment" regarding Mr Ward's comments.
In an earlier story, group member Diane Reid said the community should have been notified "about potential developments that could have a detrimental effect" on the town.
She said the "character and charm" of the historic precinct was a drawcard for visitors.
In a Facebook posting, the group said it was not "anti-business" and "of course we highly value the employment that FreshChoice provides in Greytown".
A counter Facebook page, "Support FreshChoice Greytown", has started with 159 likes as of Friday.