Boxed out

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A Queenstown business is being forced to close its doors after 30 years to make way for yet another big-box development.

Shotover Garden Centre manager Sam Taylor calls the closure of the centre “pretty sad” – but says the community support has been brilliant.

The centre’s been given the boot after Bunnings bought the State Highway 6 land in anticipation of its new store getting the green light.

Bunnings was refused resource consent to construct and operate a store on the Frankton Flats by Queenstown’s council in March, a decision it’s appealed to the Environment Court.

Taylor says the closure of a local business, with three decades of history, is “pretty disheartening”.

“There’s been quite an outpouring of sadness, and disdain for what’s going on in Queenstown. There’s a little bit of big-box fatigue.

“I had a gentleman, who’s a regular, you could see he was visibly upset because he said he’s been coming here a long time.”

But, she says, the support from customers has been huge.

“We do feel very loved.”

She also pays tribute to owner/operator Kelvin Edney, “as he has worked hard behind the scenes for many years”.

Taylor says the centre, closing January 13, will carry on elsewhere as a wholesale nursery.

Bunnings property general manager Andrew Marks confirms Bunnings is buying the site.

“We are currently awaiting a decision on a resource consent for the site.

“If approved, the site will be developed into a Bunnings Warehouse and represent an investment of over $33 million and could create over 80 new jobs.”

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz