THE transformation from weed-ridden former car yard to a fresh Gull nest could be just around the corner. Photo Sven Carlsson OB4647-01

A DECISION is likely within the next month on Gull’s application for resource consent to build and operate a petrol station in Opotiki.

Gull announced a year ago that it was planning a self-service station for the former Wakelin Motors site on Bridge Street, and a resource consent application was lodged with Opotiki District Council in May.

The consent has been opposed by nearby property owners, including Housing New Zealand.
Council planning and regulatory group manager Gerard McCormack said a hearing to determine the application had been pencilled in for the end of February.

“However, I understand that the applicant and the submitters maybe about to reach agreement in the near future,” he said.

“If they do, then I envisage that we will be issuing a decision within the next two or three weeks.”

In her submission, Bridge Street resident Jodine Angela Whare said she supported the application, but that for traffic safety reasons, care was needed when deciding where the entry and exit to the petrol station should be placed.

She suggested the station’s entry should be on Bridge Street, but that the exit should be on Nelson Street.

In its submission, the housing corporation said it “opposed the application on the basis that the current proposal will have adverse effects on adjoining properties and these effects cannot be mitigated by conditions of consent”.

The submission stated that the development would provide for commercial activity in an area that was zoned for residential activity.

HNZ development planning manager Brendon Liggett said that while the corporation supported the proposed development in the location, it was concerned the nature of the proposal would result in adverse effects.

“The proposed service station will operate 24 hours, seven days a week and it will have refuelling trucks arrive between the hours of 10pm and 7am,” he said.

The associated intensity, noise and traffic movements with the proposed service station were not comparable to the previous use, the Wakelin Motors car dealership, he said, and the proposed activities were contrary to the objectives of the residential zoning, and HNZ therefore opposed the application.

“In its current form, Housing New Zealand considers that the proposal does not sufficiently mitigate the adverse effects resulting from the development,” Mr Liggett said.

He said HNZ was open to reviewing any amended plans.

Coastline Projects director Hayden White was also opposed to the proposal.
He said, as the owner of a property at 27 Nelson Street, Coastline Projects was objecting for similar reasons to those listed by HNZ.

Additional concerns were that the petrol station might become a “hang-out” for people engaged in unsavoury behaviour and that cars might be doing burnouts.

Noise, lighting effects, traffic, odour, hazardous substances and flooding effects received detailed considerations in the Coastline Projects submission.

“Service stations are not in keeping with a residential environment, which is why they are not typically located within a residential area,” Mr White wrote.

In its submission, Coastline Projects also presented a comprehensive list of consent conditions it would like to see imposed in case the proposal went ahead.

Included in this list were limitations on construction hours, restrictions on fuel delivery hours, lighting effects, hazardous substances are a request for a noise barrier.