CONSENT DENIED FOR PIONEER COUNTDOWN

Countdown Pioneer project

Countdown Pioneer project

Pioneer Countdown must wait. The $16 million development plans for a new supermarket and shopping centre in Palmerston North have been refused.
According to independent resource management commissioners, they did not comply with new urban design standards and were still far away from providing an integrated neighbourhood centre. Concerns were raised over the street frontage, the positioning of the buildings and their overall impact on pedestrian traffic.
Despite the attempts Progressive had made in order to satisfy the council, the project faced its third denial so far. A first hearing had been cancelled in 2014 due to planners’ objections and a second one, months later, was opposed and adjourned.
“We encourage development, but not at any cost,” said Mayor Grant Smith, who also underlined that the new shopping centre should be welcoming rather than dominated by car parks, given that Pioneer Highway is one of the main gateways to Palmerston North.
In the hours that followed, developers expressed their disappointment, claiming that the town has become a hard place to work and invest. On their part, council planners are adamant in their defence of the District Plan, whose requirements, they added, should always be respected.
The next move is now up to Progressive Enterprises.