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Development...NZTA has a project to replace a culvert under SH1 at the flood prone Taitarakihi Stream (in foreground) and is in discussions with the developer over proposed traffic lights at the Grants Rd/SH1 intersection (in background). PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

The main building in a proposed retail development at the former A&P Showgrounds in Timaru will be super-large.

Resource consent documents lodged with Timaru District Council show the proposed anchor trade supplier building on the northwest Washdyke side of the site would be 60m wide and extend 170m in length, inclusive of a yard.

The building would have a total floor space of 7970sqm.

The western side of the site near the planned main entrance opposite Grants Rd would have low-format retail with a supermarket (3800sqm) and food and beverage restaurants.

Auckland developer Tony Gapes and Redwood QT Ltd have done extensive work to get their plans in motion.

The resource application to the Timaru District Council was more than 550 pages long.

Besides plans for the development, the application had reports from consultants Redwood QT that the developer hoped would allay concerns about flooding in the area and traffic issues.

Over the years, the road at the bottom of State Highway 1 and at Grants Rd has regularly been covered in floodwater.

Risk . . . Flooding at Showgrounds BP, Timaru, in December 2017. PHOTO: COURIER FILES

A stormwater management report prepared by Maven Associates on behalf of Redwood QT proposed installing box culverts under the nearby rail corridor and SH1 and a new piped stormwater network to discharge to Taitarakihi Stream.

Environment Canterbury confirmed a consent application had been lodged.

“It is being processed, but we are unable to answer specific questions until our audit process has been completed.”

As for traffic concerns, approval was still required from the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to handle traffic off SH1 into the site.

“The land was rezoned as commercial 2A zone [large-format retail/big-box retail] a while ago but consents are still required if a developer wants more density than what was anticipated by the zone,” an NZTA spokesman said.

“They also need the agreement/approval of Waka Kotahi for the intersection works at SH1 required to advance the development.

“We are in discussions with the developer on the details of the access proposed, as suggested new signalised cross intersection at Grants Rd and improvements at Bridge Rd at the top of the hill.

“We also have a project to replace the culvert under SH1 at the Taitarakihi Stream, which will likely be affected by the intersection upgrade.

“We are engaged in the process and discussing the design requirements for the proposed intersection upgrades on SH1.”

Redwood QT considered the resource consent application did not need to be publicly notified.

“A proposed retail development has long been anticipated on the site since it was rezoned for this purpose in 2010.

“There is nothing noteworthy or unusual about the application site or the proposed development.”

If approved, stage 1 of the development covering the above-mentioned plans was expected to open for business late next year or in early 2022.

Stage 2 of the development, on the southern and eastern areas of the site, comprised four low-format retail tenancies, four personal retail and five food and beverage outlets, as well as a car yard.

There would be a total of 1190 car parks.

Redwood QT has been in discussions with Te Runanga o Arowhenua and KiwiRail. A spokesman for Alliance Group Smithfield, which is accessed via Bridge Rd, said they had yet to review the plans in detail so it would be inappropriate to comment.