Sand mining from a 46-hectare area of Mangawhai Forest is likely to proceed.
The Environment Court recently announced in an interim decision that it is inclined to allow Sandglass Corporation to extract sand from the forest, northeast of Wellsford.
Sandglass’s application for a non-complying land use resource consent authorising that activity was rejected by the Rodney District Council on November 6, 2006.
Council advisor Mike Isle says it is pleased with the Environment Court settlement, in particular the company’s intent to address issues raised by the council after the initial application.
The only remaining issue the Environment Court wants resolved is that brought by The Tomarata Lakes Protection Society to seek greater restriction on truck and trailer activity that will accompany the extraction.
It has set aside the Treaty of Waitangi and cultural issues of particular concern to tangata whenua raised by the Mangawhai Pakiri Environmental Kaitiaki Protection Trust.
Referring to the truck traffic and amenity issue, the decision reads: ‘What Sandglass seeks is beyond what the receiving environment should reasonably be expected to absorb. Activity of that level would not promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources.’
The court presented three truck and trailer activity options that it wants the remaining parties to consider in written submissions to be lodged by February 15.
The proposed term of the consent is 35 years, and the maximum quantity of sand to be extracted is 50,000 cubic metres for each of the first two years of operation and 84,000 cubic metres thereafter.
The terms are subject to whatever truck traffic and amenity levels approved by the court.
- Rodney Times
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