Hamilton East supermarket plan upsets residents

A proposal to build a supermarket on one of Hamilton's most congested roads has alarmed residents who question why the council hasn't kept them better informed.

Progressive Enterprises has filed an application with Hamilton City Council to build a Countdown supermarket at 160 Peachgrove Rd, Hamilton East.

The supermarket giant bought the 1.8 hectare site from Mighty River Power in February last year.

Council planning bosses have opted to process the consent on a limited notified basis, saying the impact on the surrounding area will be "no more than minor".

The council decision means only 27 properties are able to submit on the application.

Peachgrove Rd traverses Claudelands and Hamilton East.

Janubhai Patel, who owns the East Street Superette on the corner of Peachgrove Rd and East St, was surprised the council decided against informing the wider community.

Patel said his business would be affected by having a large supermarket on his doorstep.

"We will be affected because we sell similar kinds of products to a supermarket but I think Peachgrove Rd will also get a lot busier so that will affect the community," he said.

Three schools are located on Peachgrove Rd - Southwell School, Hamilton Boys' High School and Peachgrove Intermediate School.

Southwell School headmaster Royce Helm said the council hadn't notified the school of the proposal and was unsure what impact it would have on traffic.

"Obviously we would like to be consulted and we have a view about road safety but without any details it's difficult to comment," Helm said.

Judy McDonald, co-ordinator of pedestrian advocate group Living Streets Hamilton, was disappointed schools and many residents were denied the chance to genuinely comment on the proposal.

A large supermarket would substantially increase traffic on a road used by a lot students walking and cycling to school, she said.

"At the very least the community should have the opportunity to look at the plans and comment on whether or not it should go ahead," McDonald said.

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