Plans for a giant quarry in Cambridge have been released to The News by Waipā District Council after neighbours revealed they are hiring a Queen’s Counsel to try and stop the development.
The proposed sand quarry, 2kms east of Cambridge between Waikato Expressway and French Pass Road, would supply the Waikato construction industry and extract 3-400,000 tonnes of sand a year for 25 years.
An average of 52 trucks every weekday and as many as 200 trucks a day could visit the site, according to a pre-application meeting held between RS Sand Ltd and council staff.
But Rhys Powell, whose property in French Pass Road would border the quarry, says he and other neighbours are ready to fight the plans which they say will have huge health, environmental and cultural problems if allowed to proceed.
The quarry would produce silica dust, which is harmful when inhaled, the site was once a pa, the applicants would remove a riverbank and mine next to a waterway that feeds the Waikato River, said Powell.
Waipā District Plan and Growth manager Tony Quickfall said while the council had not received an application yet, the resource consent pre application notes suggest it would be a discretionary activity if it was lodged.
Should the application go ahead, an independent consultant would consider it while an independent commissioner would make the final decision, he said.
The site has no direct connection to Waikato Expressway and north and south bound trucks would need to go through Cambridge town unless Waka Kotahi builds two new off ramps near Cambridge Golf Course.
RS Sand is owned by Stevenson Aggregates, a Fulton Hogan subsidiary, and Remediation (NZ) Ltd, a Taranaki company which trades under Revital Group and already operates a composting site in Cambridge.
One of the directors is Whitehall Fruitpackers chief executive Mark Gardiner.
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