Hooker Rd quarry dust up

Share

Roading and traffic management are shaping as two of the most contentious issues at a resource consent hearing for the expansion of a sand quarry at Tamahere.

Neil and Linda Porritt have applied to intensify sand extraction at their Hooker Rd, Tamahere plant from the existing rate of 30,000 cubic metres a year up to an average of 300,000 cubic metres a year, reports the Waikato Times.

The application has split the community, with those due to give evidence supporting the quarry over the next five days including former Hamilton mayor Russ Rimmington and those to speak against it including racing’s Sir Patrick Hogan.

Should consent be granted, Waikato District Council has suggested draft consent clauses which would require the Porritts to widen Hooker Rd and reconstruct its intersection with State Highway One, install a right-turning bay at the intersection of Duncan Rd and SH1 work which could cost more than $1 million and also pay heavy vehicle impact fees of 17 cents a cubic metre to the council, with a further 5c a cubic metre going to Waipa District Council.

The Porritts object to most of these conditions.

On the opening day of the hearing at Ngaruawahia yesterday [Monday, June 29], Porritt counsel Phil Lang said Hooker Rd had always been underwidth and deficiencies in the roading network should be remedied by the council.

“The width of the road is not a result of the applicant’s actions,” he said.

Further, he said the impact of quarry traffic on district roads had been overstated and there was no case for paying Waipa anything, because the quarry would actually have a beneficial effect in terms of impact from sand-carting vehicles in that district.

Mr Porritt said the Waikato district impact fee of 17 cents was “very high and quite bizarre” when compared with the 2-3 cents Perrys paid at their Ngaruawahia rock quarry.

The Aggregate and Quarry Association of New Zealand advised him not to pay any fees to Waipa.

“They say this could well be the only time one council has tried to impose a fee on an activity in a neighbouring district.”

Waipa’s roads get used by the likes of Fonterra, Civil Whey and fertiliser companies who pay the council nothing.

“Why pick on sand quarries?”

But his greatest concern was being asked to pay to widen Hooker Rd.

“We operate a small sand quarry, not a gold mine,” he said.

If the application is rejected, the quarry could continue to operate for 70-80 years with its existing consents, though if the new extraction rate is accepted it could be worked out within 7-8 years.

Phillip and Peter’s Vela’s Pencarrow Stud is among those supporting concerns about noise effects on horses.

But Mr Porritt said the major source of noise in the area came from the Velas’ helicopter.
Ad Feedback

Mr Porritt also noted that at least seven submitters opposing the consent had since sought sand from him, a sign of how sought-after his product was.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *