Ashburton Mayor Angus McKay says he is disappointed at the response to a Council invitation to meet the leaders of a group protesting against the sale of lot 9 at Ashburton Business Estate.
Yesterday, the Mayor invited Jen Branje, the leader of the group, and two of her supporters to a meeting with him, Deputy Mayor Darryl Nelson, and Councillor Neil Brown, who is chair of the Council's Finance and Business Support Committee, to discuss their concerns.
However Ms Branje, on behalf of the group, declined the opportunity to attend the meeting.
"From my experience, the first step in the resolution of any dispute is for both parties to get together and put their concerns on the table," Mr McKay said.
"At every step of the way, Ashburton District Council has undertaken all required consultation on the sale of Lot 9 and acted in what it considers to be the best interests of the Ashburton community."
"This will be a considerable land sale that will benefit all ratepayers in the district. We are selling land that may eventually be used for a water bottling plant. It could also be used for horticulture, an abbatoir or any other wet industry," Mr McKay said.
"If there are people in our community who are concerned about this, I welcome them coming to talk to us."