Op shop forced to close

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The SPCA plans to re-open its Ashburton op shop.
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Ashburton SPCA Op Shop was forced to close its doors after opening six days prior.

The shop is temporarily shut after Ashburton District Council staff advised both the operator and building owner it should not be at the site, as it was in a Business C zone.

Now the animal welfare charity is applying for a certificate of compliance. By the time this is processed, it could be at least another four weeks before it re-opens.

It could be even longer if its application is not successful, as it would then need to apply for resource consent.

The shop opened in a commercial building, owned by Kingan Transport, at 418 West St, July 19. It was closed on July 25.

On July 28 it applied for the certificate of compliance, under the Resource Management Act.

The certificate application is a formal request asking the district council to confirm what the applicant is proposing to operate does not need resource consent in any way.

District council compliance and development group manager Jane Donaldson said activities under the District Plan required resource consent to operate if they could not meet the criteria to be permitted .

‘‘The District Plan seeks to direct customer focused retail shops to the Business A (town centre) of Ashburton in order to preserve and strengthen the vitality of the town centre.

‘‘The site at 418 West Street is located in the Business C zone,’’ Donaldson said.

Informal discussions between district council staff and parties associated with the shop had not determined the operation would be permitted in the zone.

‘‘The applicant subsequently decided to apply for a certificate of compliance under the Resource Management Act.’’

The certificate was different from a resource consent.

It placed the responsibility on the applicant to provide evidence and justifications to support its claim of permitted status.

Donaldson said the application was now in a processing queue for an officer to review.

‘‘As part of the review we will look to see whether further information is required and if it is wewill ask the applicant to provide it. Once all information requests have been completed the council has 20 working days to make a decision as to whether the certificate should be issued or that a resource consent is required.’’

SPCA area manager Emma Stokes did not want to go into details of why the shop was temporarily closed as the organisation worked through ‘‘the necessary paperwork and details related to location criteria’’.

Stokes said the SPCA was eagerly looking forward to opening its doors to the community ‘‘soon’’.

‘‘We’re very excited for our Ashburton Op Shop to be able to meet the conscious consumer needs of the community and provide an avenue to support our charity,’’ she said.

Kingan Transport owner David Kingan said he was supporting the SPCA’s certificate of compliance application.

He believed the site was ideal for the SPCA, with plenty of space for people to drive in to drop off their donated items.