Quarry company makes pledge

Exploratory work has already started at the site of the proposed quarry.

The company behind a proposed giant quarry on the outskirts of Cambridge says it will ensure the development is sensitive to the surrounding environment.

RS Sand director Ben Hussey was responding to residents’ claims the quarry, 2kms east of the town, would result in health and environmental problems.

Details of the development, revealed exclusively in The News last week, took Cambridge by surprise and resulted in letters to the editor, social media comments and a television news item.

Hussey said the quarry was needed to meet demand for sand used in developing upper North Island infrastructure and communities.

The quarry would employ up to 10 people and have a life of 25 years.

RS Sand is a joint venture between Stevenson and Revital groups.

“There is a detailed consent process underway. An important part of this process is consultation with immediate neighbours and other affected parties, and development of a dust management plan. We welcome the input of the community in which we live and operate,” said Hussey.

The quarry would include a three-metre-high bund planted with native plants to screen the site.

The developers would plant 10 hectares of native forest, rehabilitate wetlands and protect riparian zones alongside Karāpiro Stream.

“This is part of our commitment to the broader community, to improving biodiversity, sequestering carbon, and to improving water quality,” he said.

Rhys Powell, who lives in French Pass Road adjacent to the proposed quarry and was a senior manager at a multi-billion-dollar mining company in Western Australia before moving to New Zealand, said operating a large open cut mine so close to Cambridge was crazy.

“It is the size of a 56-acre pit with 10 acres of storage – significantly bigger than anything else around and so close to town with no buffer zones to protect the waterways,” he said.

“They are also wanting to extract 1.2 million litres of ground water per day which is equivalent to a garden hose filled with water from New Zealand to the USA daily.”

Of major concern would be the silica dust created. The P10 dust is almost invisible to the naked eye and can travel several kilometres and stay airborne for days.

“The P90 sand in the ground is not the problem, it is the silica dust and the potential for silicosis,” said Palmer.

Among the many emails The News received was one from Cambridge resident Rosie Bentley who said she was concerned about dust drift, road use and truck and machinery noise from the site.

“I live just off Thornton Rd near the expressway so would be affected and there is already a lot of noise from heavy vehicles. The wind often blows from that direction.”

It would be the second large quarry close to Cambridge.

Last year Shaw’s Property Holdings was granted a resource consent to extract sand from a 49.9ha property on Kaipaki Road, between Cambridge and Mystery Creek.

That site borders the Mangawhero Stream which feeds into the nearby Waikato River.

At the time, Waipā District Council said the resource consent application was a “limited notification”.

The quarry entrance is about 400 metres near the top of Walker’s Gully on Kaipaki Road.

 

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