Most favour expansion

Submissions on Fonterra's proposal to expand its Pahiatua site are overwhelmingly in favour of it.

Community growth and more jobs were the reasons many people were in support.

Forty-five new jobs are expected to be created by the $200 million proposed expansion, which would allow the company to process an extra 2.5 million litres of milk each day.

Those in favour also submitted it would bring job security, commercial development and would mean raw milk would be developed into milk powder at Pahiatua, rather than being trucked or going by train out of the region.

People in favour also said there would be little or no impact on the environment.

But neighbours of the factory, William and Pauline Wallace, said they were concerned there would be more noise.

"Our proximity to the factory and the fact that our residence sits above the level of the driers probably enhances the noise of the driers in particular."

They asked for monitoring of noise.

It recommended the Horizons Regional Council and Tararua District Council should decline to grant consent until sufficient information was available.

Neighbour Ross Gillespie said he was opposed to any expansion as he was already dealing with negative impacts from the plant.

"Fonterra are lousy neighbours," his submission said. Noise, water quality problems and smell were all things he lived with now.

Wellington Fish and Game supported Fonterra's plan to reuse condensate from the proposed new drier and store wastewater for later irrigation on farms.

Of the 42 submissions, 36 were in favour of the proposed plant expansion, three had environmental concerns they wanted fixed and three were opposed.

A hearing is likely next month for those who want to talk to commissioners about their submissions.

Manawatu Standard