Be­lated ap­proval for cafe owner

$40,000 to ap­pease peo­ple ‘with a bee in their bon­net’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

Dar­ryl El­lis says it was $40,000 spent to gain noth­ing, but he’s re­lieved to get his re­source con­sent.

The straight-talk­ing owner of Ground Up Cafe in Pau­ata­hanui got a ret­ro­spec­tive con­sent from Porirua City Coun­cil for the ad­di­tions and al­ter­ations car­ried out to the cafe in a decision pub­lished by an in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sioner on Jan­uary 8.

The con­sent will in­crease the num­ber of pa­trons Ground Up Cafe can ac­com­mo­date from 35 to 65 and pro­vides for 22 car parks at the rear of the cafe.

Hear­ings held over three days in Novem­ber at Porirua City Coun­cil in­volved sub­mis­sions from lawyers, ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers, coun­cil of­fi­cers and Pau­ata­hanui res­i­dents.

The own­ers of the gen­eral store and Ru­ral Trad­ing Post, on ei­ther side of the cafe, were op­posed to the con­sent be­ing granted, mainly on grounds of park­ing con­flict is­sues.

Other con­cerns in­cluded in­creased noise, traf­fic, dust and, ac­cord­ing to more than one sub­mit­ter, the po­ten­tial change of character in the vil­lage.

Of the 285 sub­mis­sions re­ceived on the con­sent ap­pli­ca­tion, 61 were op­posed.

The Pau­ata­hanui Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion said the con­sent would be ‘‘ re­ward­ing a de­lib­er­ate and il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity which has ad­versely af­fected the vil­lage’’.

El­lis said he didn’t at­tend the hear­ings to ‘‘hear peo­ple put down some­one try­ing to run a suc­cess­ful business. My ap­pli­ca­tion [for con­sent] was made a year ago and it’s taken that long to get to the point where it was con­firmed that things were fine.

‘‘I wouldn’t have been in this po­si­tion and spent thou­sands of dol­lars if it wasn’t for a group of peo­ple who have a bee in their bon­net, and made this all very per­sonal.’’

El­lis said lo­cals had been ‘‘hyped up’’ to be­lieve he was plan­ning a ma­jor ex­ten­sion, when the con­sent was a ret­ro­spec­tive one.

‘‘Noth­ing has changed,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve been treated ter­ri­bly, but I’ve stuck to my guns.’’

Moves like clog­ging up the car park with hap­haz­ardly parked ve­hi­cles on a busy day last year did not de­ter him, he said.

Res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Ken McA­dam said last week he had not had a chance to read the com­mis­sioner’s decision. But he said if the as­so­ci­a­tion was sat­is­fied the traf­fic, park­ing and sewage ques­tions had been an­swered, it was un­likely there would be an ap­peal to the En­vi­ron­ment Court.

Paul Boyack, owner of the Ru­ral Trad­ing Post, de­clined to com­ment.

One of the con­di­tions of the con­sent is that El­lis must pave the car park­ing area within three months.

El­lis said he bought the business six years ago and a lack of due dili­gence re­gard­ing the Re­source Man­age­ment Act and re­source con­sents on his part had led to the sit­u­a­tion.

He hoped his pro­posal for a bou­tique shop­ping precinct for Pau­ata­hanui would get off the ground one day.

The com­mis­sioner, Mark St Clair, said in his rul­ing that mat­ters raised at the hear­ing that

still were out­side his ju­ris­dic­tion in­cluded dis­puted leases, health reg­u­la­tions, po­ten­tial fu­ture ex­pan­sion, wa­ter sup­ply and waste­water dis­charges.

Photo: FAIR­FAX

Vin­di­cated: Ground Up Cafe owner Dar­ryl El­lis is happy to put the pro­tracted re­source con­sent process be­hind him.

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