SPCA application declined

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CHARITY SUPPORT: The SPCA will not re-open its op shop on West St.
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The closed SPCA op shop at 418 West St faces having to move, following the district council declining the animal welfare charity’s application for a certificate of compliance.

The shop closed July 25 after opening just six days prior, when 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.

This forced the SPCA to apply for the certificate, which 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 on Friday the commissioner who had considered the application declined it.

‘‘So therefore the next stage, if they (SPCA) want to continue, would be to challenge the decision or apply for resource consent,’’ Donaldson said.

An SPCA spokesperson said the organisation was not in a position to comment at this time on what its plans were.

Business C zones are for limited commercial activities and light industrial activities.

According to the district council’s district plan, customer-focused retail shops such as the op shop are more suited to the Business A zone of Ashburton, which is the town centre.

The building is owned by Kingan Transport, which supported the certificate application.

Spokesperson David Kingan said he was disappointed by the commissioner’s decision.

‘‘I’m very disappointed, especially with it being a charitable outfit,’’ Kingan said.

‘‘At this stage we don’t know what the next step will be.’’

He previously told The Ashburton Courier he believed the site was ideal for the op shop, with plenty of space for people to drive in to drop off their donated items.