The proposed $3-3.5 million Raeward Fresh store in South Dunedin might come to nothing, after all.

Following the decision by the council’s hearing committee to grant resource consent, with a condition restricting the type of products being allowed to be sold, Foodstuffs seems likely to step out of the game and try to secure another site.

According to Roger Davidson, general manager of property and retail development, Foodstuffs, the supermarket chain has now been forced to reconsider its investment in the area and explore other opportunities, hopefully still in Dunedin.
The recent committee’s decision came as a cold shower for Foodstuffs and its Raeward Fresh store, limiting its prospective offering to fresh produce, flowers, fresh meat and meat products, and forbidding liquor and convenience items. Having faced significant costs so far, and bound to face even more to pursue the issue through court, Davidson said that looking for another location appeared to be a better choice. However, the company would still want to focus on Dunedin.

Foodstuffs’ disappointment was evident in Davidson’s words, pointing to a lack of collaboration from local government, which allegedly put a greater emphasis on preserving the integrity of an industrial zone over the opportunity to enhance the neighborhood.

"There is a lot of uncertainty for developers due to the legislation being open to interpretation by various parties and the look of a building or development is often considered more important than its function," Foodstuffs said in a company statement. "The legislation is in place to protect communities and is important, but it can’t account for every eventuality. Ongoing development is critical to ensure the continued social and economic well-being of our communities is maintained, not only for us to enjoy today but for our children and our grandchildren but for many more generations to come."