Complaint made over quarry

An opponent to a planned quarry just south of Cambridge has told the Waikato Regional Council he believes an unconsented sand quarry is operating in the same area.

Rhys Powell lodged a complaint with the council on Friday alleging Beacon Hill Contracting, which has a sand quarry at its registered office – 599 Oreipunga Road, Maungatautari – is operating illegally.

An image from Google Earth shows a sand quarry metres from the Waikato River at Oreipunga Road.

 

Wayne Allan

Wayne Allan

Wayne Allan, Waipā District Council group manager District Growth and Regulatory, said there was a small sand quarry on the land and the council would conduct a further investigation as to whether consent was required for it.

“We currently have no consents on record for this quarry, however farm quarries (for material used on-farm) are a permitted activity in the rural zone.”

Elwyn Andree-Wiltens, who was elected unopposed for the Maungatautari ward at the 2019 local body elections, has a 25 per cent  shareholding in the company and lives across the road from the quarry.

Elywn Andree-Wiltens

Powell lives in French Pass Road which would border a proposed sand quarry 2kms east of Cambridge. He alleges the giant quarry would see 200 trucks a day visiting the site and travelling through the town. There were huge health, environmental and cultural issues if the quarry next to his property was allowed to proceed, he said.

Beacon Hill Contracting is described on its website as a family-owned earthmoving company operation which initially carried out general farm maintenance and has now moved on to major farm conversion jobs with large scale earth-moving projects. Companies Office records show the company was formed in August 2012.

In recent years the company’s work base diversified into civil works, drainage and roading while working alongside local and regional councils for project consents, the website says.

The other shareholders, each with 25 per cent, are Albert, Mark and Julia Andree-Wiltens with the two men as directors.

The News approached the company and Cr Andree-Wiltens for comment. No response had been received when The News went to print.

The regional council confirmed it had received a complaint about the Maungatautari quarry.

Powell said after he found out about the planned quarry next to his property in French Pass Road, he went looking on Google Earth for other mining operations in the area.

That is when he saw the quarry in Oreipunga Road which is visible from across the Waikato River at Little Waipā Reserve on Horahora Road.

“This is the first (quarry) we found, we are looking at others as well,” he said.

Twitter @maryannegill

Rhys Powell

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