Business, Community

Historic pub to be bowled?

An historic hotel could be demolished to make way for a 24-hour petrol station.

The Junction Hotel in Spring Creek faces demolition to make way for a new self-serve NPD fuel station. An 8-pump, self-service fuel and caravan dump station could open later this year.

But hotel lease holder Mike Pink, who signed an agreement with the petrol company last year, vowed to stay put unless the fuel giants honour their end of the bargain.

“I’ve had a gut full of the whole fiasco. I signed an agreement last March and we were supposed to move out on July 23 last year.

“There’s been all sorts of rumours flying around and the whole thing’s been a complete disaster.

“I can’t do any repairs, any decoration and have lost a couple of staff who are worried they might not have a job in a few months,” he says.

“While Marlborough District Council may give their approval, I doubt it as they’re too scared they’ll land in the kak”, he says.

Nelson Petroleum Distributors (NPD) lodged plans with council in February to expand their premises next door to the hotel. A decision is expected to be made by Easter as NPD addresses concerns raised by the New Zealand Transport Agency regarding traffic volumes and road width.

Mike says he would need to be paid “mega bucks” to make up for the loss of the 11 years still left to run on his lease. “I have 11 years left to run on my lease so they’ll need pots of money.

“I’ve written to NPD to tell them that if they don’t complete part of it then I’m pulling out”, he says.

Mike and wife Hazel purchased the lease in October 2016.

They only just managed to keep the business afloat when the building of a new roundabout on SH1 caused sales to plummet by around 75 per cent.

But with the roundabout now in action, business has been brisk.

“The hotel owners don’t seem to really care if it sells or if it doesn’t”, Mike says.

The hotel is owned by Carol and Roger Rose through their company Stokesay Holdings Ltd.

Architects employed by NPD asked for consent to “construct, operate and maintain” a self-serve station.

They also want to remove the fuel tanks that are there and replace them with two $80,000 underground storage tanks.

“My customers have even started a petition to keep the pub. This is their last chance or I won’t be selling”, he says.

A spokeswoman from NPD says she could not comment while resource consent was waiting to be granted.

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