Hooker Rd quarry to expand

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Tamahere’s Hooker Rd quarry has been granted resource consent to intensify its sand operation.

Neil and Linda Porrit have been granted permission to increase sand extraction at their quarry to up to 300,000 cubic metres a year subject to a raft of conditions.

The application was fiercely opposed by many Hooker Rd residents, including the well resourced, neighbouring Whakanui Stud.

The Waikato Times reported that Mr Porrit was the only party to lodge an appeal to the consent decision, though he told the Times the points of concern were relatively minor and not threatening to the expansion of the 40-year-old quarry.

In the consent decision, the hearing committee took the unusual step of recommending to the council that it prioritise long-planned widening of Hooker Rd in line with two- to five-year time frames set for consented activities.

Until a host of road works are completed – many at the cost of the Porrits – the quarry is limited to 60 heavy vehicle movements a day and 240 movements within a fortnight.

Under further consent conditions the Porrits must pay council six cents for every cubic metre of sand carted by public road and a lump sum of $5000 to the Waipa District Council, upgrade Hooker Rd and Duncan Rd intersections and contribute up to 2000 cubic metres of sand towards road widening.

The Porrits have already spent $500-600,000 on the consent. Mr Porrit was concerned at a condition which prohibits any excavation within 20 metres of his eastern boundary, which he said would prevent reusing topsoil for creating an appropriate slope.

Mr Porrit also opposed a requirement for a one in 12 slope near the eastern boundary which would prevent extraction of a considerable part of the sand resource more than 20 metres from the boundary.

Whakanui Stud has submitted in opposition to his appeal points.

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