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Quarry worries

The proposed quarry site in Featherston. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

Resource consent granted but residents raise concerns
Quarry work noise to be ‘minor’

KAREN COLTMAN and GRACE PRIOR

A resource consent to open a quarry 3km from the centre of Featherston has been approved by Greater Wellington Regional Council.

But the application to South Wairarapa District Council has already caused concern for residents, Featherston Community Board members say.

The application was submitted to SWDC last Tuesday by PJ Warren Earthmoving Limited.

FCB chairman Mark Shepherd said community members had expressed concerns over the consent process – “not only the workings of the quarry, but the transportation to and from”.

SWDC group manager for planning and environment Russell O’Leary said the council hadn’t had the application for long and would be giving it “careful consideration”.

“It requires a full assessment of associated effects arising with the use, that includes noise, elements of dust nuisance, traffic generation, and traffic volumes,” he said.

The SWDC planning team has been assessing the application, with its impact on the environment in mind as well as if the application will need to be notified.

The council would have 20 days from receiving the application to decide on consenting.

The time period for application review closes on the November 18.

“The company’s intention is to operate five days a week from 7am to 5pm,” O’Leary said

“Under the District Plan, it would be a discretionary activity and it is currently being carefully assessed by our planning team.”

The 32.5ha site is located on Underhill and Algies roads.

A resident on Algies Rd said she was concerned that GWRC had not done “due diligence” before giving approval for the activity. She said the environmental assessment of the biodiversity of the area, the effect on the train track that was on the property, along with probable water resources had not been properly considered.

PJ Warren Earthmoving has been granted consent from the Greater Wellington Regional Council to extract aggregate from the ground within the site.

The resource consent term is for 10 years.

With Wairarapa experiencing a building boom, aggregate is in short supply.

This is a problem across the entire Greater Wellington region.

The shortage has in part been caused by GWRC cutting back on the amount of rock material it allows to be taken from rivers.

The application document presented by Russell Hooper Consulting said that stone and mineral crushing was listed in the council’s ‘Schedule of Primary Industries’.

Crushing aggregate is not listed as a ‘controlled activity’.

The applicant has acknowledged the noise issue of crushing machinery but said that the size of the site and the hours of operation would mean noise to neighbours would be minimised, and the sound of the crusher would be “less than minor”.

FCB representatives said there would be a meeting at Anzac Hall [in Featherston] from 6pm to 8pm on Monday [November 9] for public discussion about the project.

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