Benmore Irrigation Company lodges appeal against resource consent application decision

Benmore Irrigation Company's lawyer Ewan Chapman.
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Benmore Irrigation Company's lawyer Ewan Chapman.

Benmore Irrigation Company has lodged an appeal against decisions of Environment Canterbury commissioners to decline its resource consent applications.

The company last year applied for resource consent to increase its irrigation area by 3666.5ha to 7658ha and to discharge onto land nitrates that may enter water.

A hearing was held in Omarama in October.

In December the application was declined due to the affects on the landscape, water quality and local ecology. 

The appeal has been lodged with the Environment Court.

The irrigation company's lawyer Ewan Chapman said the company was appealing on the basis that the commissioners did not address the application for nutrient discharge.

"Environment Canterbury is progressively requiring every farmer to hold a nutrient allocation and you can hold nutrient allocation individually or as a group where you belong to an irrigation scheme and Benmore is an irrigation scheme so they applied on behalf of all farmers in the scheme to get a nutrient allocation," Chapman said.

Regarding the application to irrigate a greater area of land, the company is appealing the decision to decline resource consent on the grounds it already holds a water consent and wants to use water efficiently.

"Benmore is applying to use water efficiently but over a greater area and importantly within the nutrient base line," Chapman said.

He said there would be additional evidence presented in support of the company's appeal.

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"Benmore Irrigation Company has already got a history of collecting ecological history on their properties. The evidence will be able to show another year's worth of figures," Chapman said.

 - Stuff

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