New World Cromwell is going to expand.

The $7 million expansion of the supermarket on to a public reserve in the town’s centre has been given the go-ahead.

At a full meeting of the Central Otago District Council in Alexandra last week, councillors agreed to revoke the local purpose (amenity) reserve classification of 619sq m of the Waenga Dr Greenway Reserve.

The final decision follows two meetings of the council’s hearings panel, on September 14 and October 15, to deliberate allowing Foodstuffs to buy the site for the expansion of the New World.

The panel heard and considered eight submissions against and four in support of the proposed revocation of the reserve classification to allow for the operational footprint of the supermarket to be expanded.

Any sale of reserve land was not considered lightly and was the least preferred option.

The panel noted the submissions against the proposal made valid points but given the constraints of the current New World site and agreed conditions from Foodstuffs that it would enhance the remaining reserve land, the application to revoke the reserve status of the land was considered acceptable.

In its decision, the panel acknowledged the proposed revocation would reduce the available open space in the immediate vicinity but the balance of the reserve would continue to function as classified.

The balance of the reserve would be enhanced through the proposed landscape plan.

The hearing panel’s decision followed a similar recommendation to the council from the Cromwell Community Board at its meeting on June 15.

Councillors also agreed to notify the Minister of Conservation in writing of the resolution to request the revocation be approved and notified by gazette notice.