Residents quarry battle underway

Clevedon residents want to stop the expansion of a local quarry.

A fund-raising campaign has been kicked off by Clevedon residents who are trying to stop expansion of a local quarry.

Auckland Council received about 250 submissions of which more than 200 opposed Fulton Hogan’s application for Resource Consent to expand its operation in McNicol Road, previously known as Warren Fowler Quarry. Truck movements would be increased by up to 1300 per cent. The company proposes to increase annual production over several years to two-three million tonnes a year.

The quarry has operated since 1963 and is identified in the Auckland Unitary Plan as a significant resource for the Auckland region. It contains a large amount of high quality Greywacke rock which is used as aggregate in the construction industry.

Fulton Hogan says Auckland’s demand for aggregate is set to increase significantly. At the same time, supply is slowing as other quarries around the region reach the end of their lifespans.

The Clevedon Protection Society is calling for restrictions to truck movements. It’s not seeking to close the quarry but wants Fulton Hogan to urgently reconsider its application.

If the proposal is consented by the council, the society says it will destroy the unique Clevedon amenity and rural lifestyle. It fears the community and environment cannot sustain what is being proposed and the proposal must be substantially reduced so as not to create irreversible environmental and social damage.

The society is engaging legal and technical experts to represent it at the hearings which may be held this November or February next year. Its public petition currently has close to 1600 signatures and it is conducting a social media and community communication campaign.

Fulton Hogan is currently responding to the council’s request for more information. The company wants adverse effects, such as truck noise and vibration, dust and pollution, impact on property valuations and the social impact deemed out of scope which would prevent submitters presenting evidence on these issues at the consent hearing.

Currently the application is considered restricted discretionary which means the council can only control those matters allowed under the Unitary Plan. But the resource consent Independent Hearings Commission has suspended the out-of-scope request until all the council’s requests for information have been responded to.

It says the application may change to a full discretionary activity which would open Fulton Hogan up to all effects. The society says if this happens it would be a small win for the community.

At issue, a society spokesman says, is how the quarry expansion does not consider the housing intensification in Clevedon village.

“The effects are not just in Clevedon but also closely linked to almost identical issues which have arisen at the Brookby Quarry and Pascoes landfill.

“Traffic safety on the road network is a major concern. The roads are simply not up to the task.”

Fulton Hogan says its application proposes mitigations including an off-road bridle path for horses and walkers on part of McNicol Road and traffic lights on the single-lane Tourist Road bridge.

  •  To sign the petition go to www.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/protect-clevedon-from-increased-quarry-activities.