Mall owner opposes 'big box' plan
WEDNESDAY, 04 AUGUST 2004
By BERNARD CARPINTER
A big property company that has just invested in central Napier is calling on the city council to reject plans for a "big-box" retail development in Ahuriri.
The Christchurch-based National Property Trust two months ago bought the Ocean Boulevard mall, which runs between Emerson St and Dickens St in the heart of the cbd.
It has also shown interest in a large new building that could be built on the council-owned Dickens St car park next to the mall.
Trust executive chairman Paul Dallimore said yesterday that the application by Corunna Bay Holdings to build a large-format retail centre on 5.5 hectares of land on Pandora Rd, Ahuriri, ran counter to council plan requirements and its retail strategy.
That strategy, devised after extensive consultation, calls for retailing to be based in and around the cbd, rather than suburban centres like Ahuriri.
Mr Dallimore said the Corunna Bay application was for a zone designated for mixed use.
The council's requirements for this area, he said, included the following restrictions on retailing:
* The articles sold are manufactured, processed, repaired or serviced on the site.
* Retailing must at all times be incidental to the principal use of the site.
* Retailing is limited to 20 per cent of the gross floor area.
The proposed development met none of these criteria, Mr Dallimore said.
The council plan also stipulated that the existing character of Ahuriri should be retained, and recognised the rights of existing industries in the area. New industries should be encouraged to move to the Ahuriri industrial area, the plan said.
"The National Property Trust has a significant interest in maintaining the integrity of the inner-city retail precinct and we support the council's planning initiative," Mr Dallimore said. "The Napier City Council has a clear mandate to protect the inner-city retail precinct, having spent several months developing a clear and precise retail strategy.
"We trust the council will see fit to treat this application in the appropriate manner," he said.