Riverside quarry riles residents

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Tamahere and other southern Hamilton residents on both sides of the Waikato River are planning to fight a proposal to develop a quarry in the middle of a large dairy farm on Peacockes Rd.

Update: Riverglade residents to meet, 7.30pm, Thursday, June 9 at 55a Riverglade Drive (off Newell Rd), hosts Sue and Reece Burnett. For more information contact Mark Chrisp, phone 838 5670 (day), 027 475 8383 (cell) or click to email Mark.

Property owners on the east of the river say it will be an eyesore amid their river front views while Peacockes Rd residents on the west are concerned up to 180 trucks a day could travel along the country road.

Southside Sands has applied for a 10-year resource consent to excavate 600,000 cubic metres of sand from the 120ha dairy farm, reports the Waikato Times.

Southside Sands director Lance Coombes, who also owns Coombes Quarry in Ngahinapouri, said the effects – particularly in the first stage – would be minor.

The quarry would supply the sand for sand pads at planned residential subdivisions in the area and, depending on the speed of the residential development, would operate for between five and six years.

Mr Coombes said property owners across the river from the site would only start seeing the operation in stages two and three which would take between 12 and 15 months each.

“That (stage one) is absolutely well screened – no-one will see anything or know it is there.” The first stage will take up to three years.

The biggest effect would be up to 12 trucks an hour travelling to the site, he said. “I don’t think it will be too onerous”.

Trucks would be travelling into the area from other quarries for the hundreds of new houses planned in the area even if the Peacockes Rd quarry was not granted resource consent, he said.

Tamahere resident Billie Jones, whose Riverglade Drive property was directly across the river from the proposed sand quarry site, was worried about dust and the operation spoiling her rural outlook.

“All down our street are million-dollar homes, some of them $3 million, and we are all potentially going to be affected by the dust and noise from this site. We get our water off the roof so any dust will have a direct impact on our water supply.

“People have come here for the lifestyle and the Waikato District Council has encouraged the country lifestyle here. But all that could change because of this development.”

She was also “deeply concerned” by the lack of public information about the development.

On the other side of the river Peacockes Rd resident Rowena Robinson worried about the large number of heavy trucks travelling along the narrow winding road to the quarry.

She said it would be a huge safety hazard to the pedestrians and cyclists who frequently used the road.

“The road is going to be cut up and quite dangerous – it’s mostly a 100kmh road.”

Hamilton City Council planning and guidance manager Debra Stan-Barton said the council directly notified residents who might be adversely affected, as well as the consent being publicly notified.

Click here to view Southside Sands’ application online.

The application can also be viewed at the Hamilton City Council offices, the Garden Place Library, Glenview Library and Hillcrest Library.

Submissions on the proposal must be made by 4pm, Tuesday, June 21.

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