Thursday, April 25, 2024

Fight on over quarry works

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A fight has broken out over a proposal by a leading civil engineering company to expand truck movements from Clevedon Quarry by up to 1300 per cent.

In decisions on the Auckland Unitary Plan, the Special Purpose – Quarry Zone was expanded and recognised as a regionally significant quarry.

Fulton Hogan currently operates the quarry and now proposes to expand the quarry, previously known as Warren Fowler Quarry – and increase the annual production over several years to 2 to 3 million tonnes per year, according to the Clevedon Protection Society, a community working group with 12 core members.

The group wants people to sign a petition to be presented to council.

The petition, addressed to Fulton Hogan, Auckland Council, Papakura/Franklin Councillors and community board, aims to protect Clevedon from increased quarry activities. Hoping to get around 2000 signatures, the petition calls for restrictions to truck movements which Fulton Hogan has applied for.

Resident Jason De Graff, who lives across the quarry at Highridge Road, says a public meeting attended by around 450 Clevedon residents was held last Tuesday at the community hall.

Mr De Graff has lived in Clevedon all his life and says he purchased a property at Highridge Road six years ago mainly because of the view. “Though the public meeting was well-attended, the locals don’t realise the massive impact the expansion of the quarry will have,” he says.

He believes the value of his property is going to plummet and fears that the locals “don’t have the financial clout to fight a company like Futon Hogan.

“They have millions of dollars to spend on the lawyers. We are worried that just 450 locals don’t have kind of money power to match them.”

Auckland Council’s Robert Hunter, manager Projects, Practice and Resolutions, Resource Consents, has confirmed council received a resource consent application from Fulton Hogan to expand the current quarry activities at its McNicol Rd site.

“It proposes to increase its annual production, over several years, to approximately 3 million tonnes per year.The application is fully notified, and the public is able to view the application on our website and make submissions until July 5,” he says.

“No decisions will be made until all of the submissions have been considered, and if appropriate, a hearing is held.”

The Clevedon Protection Society highlights its key concerns with the Fulton Hogan proposal:

  • Daily truck movement increasing from an average 100 to 1306 per day (or up to 90 per hour) – a 1300 per cent increase
  • Annual tonnage increase from 201,152 to 3,000,000 per year
  • Operating hours increase from 10 to 15 hours Monday to Saturday (50 per cent increase), with up to 24/7 operations as required including four truck movements per hour over night
  • Removal of up to 80,000,000 tonnes of aggregate over the next 35 years
  • The Clevedon Protection Society says if the proposal is consented by Auckland Council, it will destroy the unique Clevedon amenity and rural lifestyle that so many people enjoy. They say that though they are not seeking to close the quarry but want Fulton Hogan to urgently reconsider its application.
  • They fear that the community and environment cannot sustain what is being proposed and Fulton Hogan’s proposal must be substantially reduced so as not to create irreversible environmental and social damage.
  • They want Fulton Hogan to explore all possible alternative transport routes and options.
  • As one of the first quarry applications under the new Unitary Plan, the protection society also “urges” council to “very carefully consider this application and recognise the deep opposition being shown by the residents of Clevedon”.

What the Clevedon Protection Society says:

In 2000 the Environment Court carefully considered an application by the previous quarry owner Fowler’s, and in setting strict conditions, they established a very fair balance between the competing economic, environmental and community amenity interests. Although the new Auckland Unitary Plan places more importance on quarries to support the growth of the city, the environmental and community interests of Clevedon are just as fragile and important as they were when the Environment Court made its ruling. The roads to and from the quarry are simply not fit for purpose, and their use to transport up to 3m tonnes of aggregate a year from the quarry will drive all other users off the road including pedestrians, walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Residents along the primary truck route will be subject to significant increases in noise, dust, vibration and road safety issues which will result in a significant loss of amenity. This application will have a dramatic impact on a raft of outstanding community and environmental amenities including the National Te Araroa Walking Trail, the Wairoa River, various horse riding and cycle routes, the residents along McNicol and Tourist roads, Clevedon Farmers Market, Clevedon Polo and Equestrian Industry, Clevedon Village and more.
The proposed quarry expansion also poses a significant environmental risk to the Wairoa River and all parts of the community which operate along its shores.

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