Shock at proposed quake waste dump
A planned earthquake demolition waste dump in residential Papanui has shocked residents, who say they have not been consulted about the site.
International disaster response company Ceres Environmental has applied for a three-year lease to operate a temporary contractors depot and waste transfer station on a piece of land in Cranford St.
The company said the facility would "significantly shorten haulage times" for demolition companies and could reduce the time and cost of some demolition projects.
The site would be used to store vehicles, machinery and debris, and would collect and store demolition material until it could be taken away to another landfill.
It said there were "no immediate neighbours" to the site, while noise impacts would be minimised by the large site.
Residents' spokesman David Moorhouse said residents became aware of the proposal only after receiving a tipoff from someone who had seen the application.
"Most people don't know about it, and when they do hear about the details, they're shocked."
The site was close to a school and residential properties, and residents were concerned about the environmental impact of the site, Moorhouse said.
"There could be water pollution, land and air pollution issues: we don't even know if asbestos will be going through there."
Residents should have been consulted about the proposal, he said.
"It's the wrong place for this sort of thing to be happening ... we shouldn't be locked out of the process."
Christchurch City Council regulation and democracy services general manager Peter Mitchell said the council had not yet approved the application, which fell under special legislation set up to aid the earthquake recovery.
The planner in charge of processing the application had asked for more information about the facility, and consultation was being undertaken through the community board.
Ceres would also need to acquire resource consents from Environment Canterbury for discharges into the air and into the ground, which had not been obtained.
About 25 residents voiced their concerns about the project at a Shirley-Papanui Community Board meeting yesterday, and asked for the entire proposal to be declined.
Ceres senior project manager Mark Frame told the meeting the proposal was in the "preliminary stages" and the company would take residents' concerns on board.
However, there was a need for the process to move quickly because the "people of Christchurch want the CBD cleared up" and ready to rebuild, he said.
"We're not going to be able to negotiate for six months or a year because disaster recovery's not going to last that long."
Community board members indicated the proposal should have to go through a resource consent process, meaning the public would be able to provide feedback.
"There are real concerns that need to be considered and they can't be considered through this process," board chairman Chris Mene said.