Tirau gets boost with proposed service station
A new service station in Tirau is the first potential major development in the pipeline after news that a bypass will make Tirau the first stop south of Auckland.
South Waikato District Council is processing a resource consent for a BP service station to be built where the old Tirau Panel Beater building used to stand.
BP Oil New Zealand communications and external affairs manager Jonty Mills said the idea had ‘‘ been in the pipeline’’ as a potential BP development for a few years, based on the knowledge that the Waikato expressway was imminent
‘‘Tirau is a main thoroughfare and this site will be the first and/or last town for customers heading south or north before hitting the expressway.’’
He said the site would compliment BP’s existing network and will offer customers a full BP Connect and Wild Bean Cafe should the development go ahead.
‘‘At this point the development is only proposed and subject to gaining resource con- sent which is under way.’’
They would not disclose the cost of the development but Mills said it was a ‘‘significant project’’ that would create employment opportunities.
Council chief executive Craig Hobbs said any development is good.
‘‘It has been proven that service stations particularly ones like BP with all the amenities do really encourage people to stop.’’
He said he found the location interesting.
‘‘It would be more appropriate for north-bound traffic which is the one interesting concept because Tirau will be the first stop for south- bound traffic [after Auckland].’’
He said they would need to consult NZTA on the traffic disruption particularly as large amounts of south-bound traffic may want to cross the state highway as a result.
‘‘It will be interesting to see how many people stop. Driver fatigue is a huge issue now when you look at the statistics and it’s three hours from Auckland to Tirau so it is an ideal stopping point.’’
He said with an influx in traffic there will ‘‘definitely be the need for more fuel stations’’.
When asked if council supported the development of a BP, he said ‘‘yes’’.
‘‘At the end of the day what will be will be. The opportunity now is for the rest of Tirau to get the town looking really smart and take advantage of the people coming through.’’
He said the one good thing about BP was that it was willing to work with the council to ensure any development was visually appealing as well as practical.
He said the development of Tirau as a whole is being discussed in council chambers at the moment as part of the town planning process.
‘‘ Council is working on concept plans for all towns in the district including how we position them and make them attractive.’’
He said it is a part of the longterm planning process that has not been seriously looked at for 5-10 years.
‘‘We’re just taking it a little more seriously this year.’’