A Masterton dairy owner who wants to expand to sell Indian specialty grocery items faces opposition from neighbours who say the effects of the store would be detrimental to the neighbourhood.
Raj Patel, the owner of the dairy of on the corner of Cornwall and Pownall Streets, wants to expand the shop floor by 80 square metres as well as extra storage areas.
The hearings committee, consisting of Masterton District Councillor Jonathan Hooker, South Wairarapa District Councillor Mike Gray and Masterton mayor Garry Daniell, heard the concerns of immediate neighbours in the Frank Cody Lounge yesterday morning.
Neighbours Marlene Heath, Richard and Sarah Wilkins and Maria Snoeijer were at the hearing to explain their opposition.
The application proposes the addition of a retail shop to the existing dairy.
This was the second application given to council. The first, which included an upstairs living area, was rejected.
Issues raised by the neighbours included increased traffic in the area, the sale of liquor and a decrease in property value.
Mrs Wilkins reported "horrendous trouble" with delivery trucks in the past, and feared these would increase with the new development.
She had spoken with others about her concerns: "Not one person said 'Gosh, I wish that was being built next to my house'."
Mr Patel was accompanied by designer Willem van der Laan, of CAD services and designs, and Nirav Patel, who explained the owner's point of view due to language difficulties.
They assured neighbours they would do their best to mitigate their concerns.
"We are doing our best to make it blend in with the current properties," said Mr van de Laan.
Mr Patel was clear they had no intention of applying for a liquor licence, and said there was unlikely to be an increase in delivery trucks as the owner would have to pick up the specialty grocery items himself.
The committee were to discuss the submissions and were to respond in due course.