Mediation settles quarry dispute

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The Titoki Sands quarry in central Tamahere is set to proceed after mediation last week between the company and opposition group Community and Environment Tamahere (CET).

Following the grant of consents to Titoki Sands in March, CET appealed the decision to the Environment Court where it was agreed by all parties to enter mediation. Click for earlier stories.

CET reported that in the mediation its appeal was settled by an agreement to improve controls over the quarry.

In a summary of some of its chief achievements in mediation, CET reported the following:

Community Liaison Group
The Community Liaison Group will now have the opportunity to have input on all management plans prior to certification by independent consultants and ultimately by the council.

o Specifically added to the group’s purpose is to provide input and feedback on the final access design, stage three safety audit, and consent holder’s response

o the group has been expanded to include representatives from the Department of Conservation and from the adjoining land owners (as a specific group)

Road & Traffic Safety
Roading plans were signed off, which included addressing stage two safety audit concerns.

o Still subject to stage three safety audit review

o Subject to Community Liaison Group input

o Unable to be changed to road safety detriment

A 1.5 metre wide footpath from the State Highway 1 interchange to Woodcock Road will have a 1 metre shoulder and a safety rail in the dip. This is a wider and safer footpath than previously proposed, with the extra measures funded by Titoki. The safety rail may become larger or smaller depending on what the stage three safety audit dictates.

The mediation also resulted in the following procedures being included in the Management Plans:

o to maximise use of the State Highway network in preference to Tauwhare Road

o to minimise heavy traffic vehicle movements to and from the quarry between 7:30am and 8:30am

It was agreed that trucks could be loaded in the evening to enable them to overnight at the operator’s off-site depot.

The council has committed to re-assessing the speed limit between the Tamahere roundabout and 1km east of Woodcock Rd after the quarry entrance becomes operational.

Amenity Aspects
A dust monitor is to be installed at the north east boundary of the quarry site before any mining work commences. It is aimed at minimising evening dust.

o no topsoil stripping or handling after 6.30pm

o no works above bund level after 6.30pm

Noise monitoring is to commence three months after operations begin, which is three months earlier than previously allowed for.

CET said more detail will be available at its annual meeting, to be held shortly.

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