Former horse trainer Robin Butt is driving plans for a shopping centre in West Melton.
Mr Butt and his wife Jackie are excited the district council has given the nod for their 0.8ha section on Weedons Ross Rd to be rezoned - leaving one last step in the consent process.
"I think West Melton badly needs some shops," said Mr Butt.
"It's a hang of a big catchment, and it's getting bigger and bigger."
When Mrs Butt first came to West Melton as a small girl in 1945 there were only three children in her class at school.
"It's not even the same place. I've seen a change ... It was just farmland," she said.
Now West Melton School has a roll of 296 and the number of houses has jumped from 42 in 2005 to 200 this year, with 600 homes expected in the area by 2015.
The couple has lived in West Melton since 1981 and while horses no longer whinny from the paddocks, the old stables are a reminder of the Butt family's life-long ties to the harness racing industry.
"Originally we had the farm here and we kept that piece of land back, always hoping to put shops there. We just had to wait for the right time I guess," said Mr Butt.
They made the request to rezone part of their land from a Living 1 to Business 1 zone in 2010.
Since then, Mr Butt said they've had "quite a bit of interest" in the development.
They've been approached by people wanting to open a cafe, Indian restaurant, vet, doctor, chemist, hairdresser, restaurant/bar, grocer, women's fashion shop, french bakery, takeaway, dairy and a gym.
"I'm looking forward to having a cafe-bar to go to," said Mrs Butt.
Her husband said: "People are calling out for somewhere to have a nice meal or coffee. If you want that you have to go into town or Rolleston."
While nothing is official, Mr Butt said there could be around 15 shops in a two-storey centre, with 126 car parks.
Now they just have to work out what businesses will be involved.
"We're still open to people to contact us if they're interested."
Mr and Mrs Butt, both retired, aren't daunted by the project they're taking on.
"I think it's going to be pretty big. It'll be exciting really," said Mr Butt.
Following the district council's decision, the plan change can now continue along the Resource Management Act process, with people who originally made submissions given 30 days to appeal the decision to the Environment Court.
If there are no appeals the district plan will be amended, allowing the development to go ahead.
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