Quarry noise to be assessed

The impact of noise levels on residential dwellings is one consideration evaluated in a consent application for a new Christchurch quarry by road construction firm Fulton Hogan.

The Christchurch City Council in July received a resource consent application for a proposed 22-hectare quarry on pasture land at 50 Roberts Rd, Islington.

The site backs on to a number of residential dwellings, including those on Kaniere Ave, which runs off Gilberthorpe Rd, and is not far from Gilberthorpe School in the suburb of Hei Hei.

It has a "rural 5" (airport influences) city zoning.

The application notes a small overlap of the area to be quarried and a residential "greenfield priority area", to the west of Kaniere Ave, identified for future residential development under the council's land use recovery plan.

"The surrounding environment comprises a mix of land uses forming the rural-urban interface of Christchurch City in this location," the application says.

Fulton Hogan's core business is based around quarrying activities. On the company's website it says it has operated quarries around New Zealand for more than half a century.

The application for the land use consent is to establish a gravel quarry and undertake associated earthworks at 50, Roberts Rd, Islington, with processing of the extracted material at the nearby Pound Rd Quarry.

The application says the proposed truck movements may at times exceed the Christchurch City Plan limits of 250 vehicle movements a day.

Fulton Hogan, in a statement, said it had applied for Roberts Rd resource consents from Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury to extract gravel from the site.

This extraction process would play a key role in supplying the Christchurch rebuild. The quarry would have a maximum operational life of 10 years.

Fulton Hogan had a proven track record in running sustainable extraction operations while maintaining positive relationships with both the community and the regulators, it said.

Fulton Hogan regional manager Craig Stewart said the Christchurch earthquake rebuild had generated an unprecedented demand for aggregate.

"The proposed extraction operation will have minimal impact on the community. Extracted material will be processed off-site, which significantly mitigates potential effects."

At the end of the mine life the area would be returned to pastoral land.

Consent is being sought for extra movements by Fulton Hogan in respect of both the new quarry entry and Pound Rd quarry, one kilometre to the west, where the processing of extracted material will take place.

The proposed Roberts Rd quarry will involve extraction of aggregate material to a depth of 11 metres and rehabilitation of the site with overburden and topsoil material.

A report by Marshall Day Acoustics said the highest predicted noise levels would occur when extractors broke ground. Noise levels at this initial stage would be around 60 decibels with no noise bunds. Noise levels at houses in the area would be lower than 45 decibels during the quarry operation, the report indicated.

A Christchurch City Council spokeswoman said a consent had been approved by independent commissioner Rachel Dunningham in October 2013 for a 165ha gravel quarry at Conservators Rd, McLeans Island. Also the commissioner had approved a consent for a 10.5ha gravel quarry at 146 Barters Rd, Templeton, in February 2013.

For the six months to December 31, Fulton Hogan posted a profit of $64 million from revenue of $1.64 billion. Operating revenue in the 2012-13 year was $3.22b, up 18 per cent on the prior year.

Fulton Hogan is one of five construction companies in the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team.

Fulton Hogan produces quarry products from more than 40 different sites around the country. Its products range from bulk fill, road base and aggregates, to refined products such as specialty sand, recycled glass base-course mixes, railway ballast and gabion rock.