Frustration over yard's dust and noise
Sydenham shopkeepers say plumes of dust and machinery noise from a neighbouring depot are threatening their businesses.
DiggersNZ runs the transfer depot on the corner of Colombo and Sandyford streets, trucking crushed aggregate on and off the site and bulldozing it into piles.
The property is opposite a row of retailers re-establishing themselves from the central city since the earthquakes.
Brendan Alcock, the new co- owner of The Honeypot Cafe across the road, said the business was engulfed in an almost permanent dust cloud.
"It's terrible. It's like a dump site. There's constant noise and vibration and we can't open the windows on hot days because dust clouds cover the tables.
"This is an area that has been growing well, but this is really going to put a halt on things."
Attempts to dampen the dirt piles had not worked, Alcock said.
DiggersNZ has had offices and vehicle storage on the site since 2011, but in the past few weeks has started the transfer depot to store aggregate, a mixture of crushed stone, sand and clay.
The Christchurch City Plan shows the leased property has a business 2 zoning, which allows for suburban shopping but not industrial use.
Anne Kennett, of Kennett Crafted Jewels directly opposite, said the problem was like a repeat of last year when contractor Skelly Holdings ran a demolition dump on nearby Cass St. Kennett said she was tired of the dust and dirt and the trucks "thundering past" and blocking the street. "It's in the middle of Sydenham. It's in the middle of our shopping area.
"Again, Sydenham is being dumped on. It's a kick in the teeth for retailers like us who are trying to get re-established here."
DiggersNZ owner Ryan Shearer said his previous premises had been in Hornby, but his business had grown from seven to 30 staff and he needed more space.
Shearer said he would move the business if he had to, but liked the central location and was keen to stay put. He was unsure of what the property's zoning allowed.
He was increasing the use of sprinklers to keep the dust down and would use planting and fencing to screen his yard. He also offered to build a wall for a neighbourhood mural and lease space for public car parking for the area.
"We don't want to upset our neighbours. There has been a big increase in trucks and we're concerned about the dust. We'll do whatever it takes."
Christchurch City Council resource consents manager John Higgins told The Press this week the council had turned down DiggersNZ's application for temporary accommodation on the site, and was taking steps to move the business on.
"Staff from council's Inspections and Enforcement Unit met with the DiggerNZ operators . . . to establish time frames and the actions required for this operation to move from this site as soon as reasonably possible," Higgins said.