By ROBYN BRISTOW
Residents opposed to a proposal to quarry the Rangiora Racecourse have no intention of shying away from making their feelings known, despite submissions closing this week.
A total of 172 submissions were received by the Waimakariri District Council and Environment Canterbury by last Friday.
But a meeting of residents on Monday night to discuss their submissions and refine them suggests there could be a flood of additional ones by the cut-off time of 5pm on Friday.
John Mather, who has facilitated several meetings of residents, says there will be no let up during the hiatus between submissions closing and the hearing of the quarry proposal by Taggart Earthmoving Ltd.
“There is a willingness to keep the awareness about the proposal high, and to keep the momentum going,” he says.
“This is a very democratic process about people having a say, rather than experts arguing (the consent) in the Environment Court, although it may come to that.
“The best approach is to allow people to have a voice, and people are going to find out what heart-felt thoughts Rangiora residents have about the quarry,” Mr Mather says.
He says he is impressed with the response to the submission process, and the quality of
submissions. Many submitters have asked to speak at the hearing.
Mr Mather’s comments follow a protest outside the Rangiora premises of Taggart
Earthmoving last Saturday.
Fifty placard-waving residents showed their opposition to the proposal.
Many are concerned about potential dust and noise nuisance from the proposed
venture, and some living near the racecourse fear it will harm the value of their homes.
A petition opposing the quarry and presented to the Waimakariri District Council in September gathered more than 4000 signatures.
Taggart is seeking approval to quarry the racecourse land in stages over 15 years.
Both ECan and the Waimakariri District Council have received the application
for consents to establish, maintain and operate an aggregate quarry at 309 West
The proposed quarry will involve topsoil stripping, aggregate extraction to a depth
of no more than five metres below ground level, and rehabilitation of the site by
Excavation and deposition of material will maintain at least one metre of separation to
groundwater at all times.
No crushing, screening or washing of aggregates is proposed at the site.
According to the application, the quarrying will be done in at least eight stages of no more than two hectares each, over a total area of 14.5 hectares.
Other work proposed on the site includes the formation of acoustic bunds, flood mitigation, and temporary stockpiling of aggregates.