Dump may stay years, residents fear

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 08:04 30/05/2012
Skelly
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ

BIG MESS: The Sydenham dump site owned by Chris Skelly, who has left the country.

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Earthquake rubble at a controversial Sydenham dump site may not be moved for years, residents fear.

Noise and dust from the rubble recycling site in Cass St caused problems for residents and businesses after dumping started last November.

Site operator Skelly Holdings, an accredited Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) contractor, was issued two abatement notices in relation to air pollution from the site.

The company has since been placed into liquidation, and owner Chris Skelly left the country after a ''compromise'' with Immigration New Zealand.

Sydenham resident Doc Ross said all the machinery had been removed from the site, but piles of demolition material were still in place.

''It's a bloody mess. There's just a mountain of demolished rubble still there.''

He said residents and businesses were concerned that nothing would happen to the piles because of the problems with Skelly Holdings.

''What we have now is basically a rubbish dump in the city,'' he said. 

''Is it going to sit there for the next 10 years or is someone going to assume responsibility for it?''

Officials should have halted work at the site before it got out of control, Ross said.

''We could all see this coming and nobody could do anything about it from the outset,'' he said.

Environment Canterbury Resource Management Act monitoring and compliance regional manager Brett Aldridge said the regional council was ''happy with the site as is''.

He said there was a small amount of rubble stored alongside a building on the land, which would be dealt with by the liquidators.

The council would deal with any issues related to the site ''if and when'' it became operational again, he said.

Skelly liquidator Murray Allott said he had terminated the lease with KiwiRail as part of the ''quite normal'' liquidation process.

''On commencement of a liquidation, it's normal to give notice to walk away from what is deemed onerous property. I've given notice, and it's off my to-do list,'' he said.

A KiwiRail spokeswoman said the company was looking at options to remove the rubble and was providing updates to the local community board.

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- The Press

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