A plan to open an Aldi supermarket in Gisborne has been given the green light.
Macedon Ranges councillors last week approved the company’s planning permit to build a supermarket and accompanying carpark in Aitken Street.
Last April, the council came under fire when it approved the sale of the Aitken Street land to Aldi for $600,000.
The land, next to the Telegraph Hotel, had long been earmarked for parking.
At the time of the sale, residents expressed fears that the council wasn’t getting the most out of the sale as it overturned an earlier council decision to seek expressions of interest from any interested parties.
At last Wednesday’s meeting, Aldi spokesman Jimmy Mouzakiotis said the supermarket would employ 12-14 staff, as well as the creation of construction jobs.
He said the supermarket and carpark would replace the Mitre 10 hardware store currently on the site.
At the council meeting, mayor Jennifer Anderson and south ward councillor Mandi Mees both raised questions about the ongoing monitoring and management of the supermarket carpark.
Council officers said the carpark would have a two hour time restriction around the clock and council officers would issue fines to anyone who overstayed the limit.
Reaction to the supermarket’s approval was mainly positive on a local community Facebook page.
However, some users have raised concerns that there are already enough supermarkets in Gisborne and that other local towns would have been more suitable.
One Romsey resident wrote: “Maybe they should look at building more infrastructure in towns which are doubling in size like Romsey. We have 2 new estates being released and still 1 sole supermarket.”
Gisborne already has a Foodworks, Coles and Morgan’s Super IGA supermarket.
Mr Mouzakiotis told the council that Aldi only stocks certain brands and products, so there would still be customer demand for local businesses.