Fernside plastics factory attracts complaints

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Unwelcome in rural environment . . . The Waimakariri District Council and Environment Canterbury have received a stack of complaints about the Advantage Plastics factory on rural land in Easterbrook Road, Fernside. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

A large number of complaints have been lodged with the Waimakariri District Council about the Advantage Plastics factory on rural land in Fernside.

A similar number of complaints have also been lodged with Environment Canterbury, specifically about offensive odours coming from the factory, which is on Easterbrook Road.

The factory is owned by David Hickmott, a prominent member of the Exclusive Brethren church in Rangiora.

Mr Hickmott’s factory was an unwelcome surprise to the surrounding Fernside community after the council issued a “non-notifiable” resource consent for the development late last year.

Council staff met with Mr Hickmott on Tuesday last week to discuss the complaints.

Nick Harrison, planning and regulation manager at the council, said matters of compliance with Mr Hickmott’s resource consent were discussed at the meeting.

“The matters were consent conditions about the building’s roller doors being open, business vehicles using the house access and where products were stored on site,” he said.

Mr Harrison declined to comment on whether, considering the huge number of complaints about the factory and the tension it has generated in the community, the council’s decision to issue a non notifiable resource consent for the project was a mistake.