Residents' rights 'overridden'

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 11/02/2014
rooney truck

HEATED: Rosewill residents met with Rooney and council representatives to discuss trucks travelling from a quarry on Rolling Ridges Rd.

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A heated meeting between Timaru District Council, Rooney Earthmoving and disgruntled Rosewill residents found little resolution last night.

Rooney has been given a temporary resource consent until April 25 to take 42,000 cubic metres of clay from its Rolling Ridges Rd quarry, with 96 vehicle movements allowed a day.

Upset residents have complained since last July about the traffic, as heavy vehicle trips rose from three a day.

The clay removal violated the district plan. As the council is the customer - the clay is being used at the oxidation ponds at Washdyke - a commissioner heard and granted a temporary consent.

Owner Gary Rooney attended the meeting at Rosewill Valley Hall along with Mayor Damon Odey and Crs Tracy Tierney and Tony Brien, regulatory services manager Chris English and about 70 residents.

Rolling Ridges Rd resident Alan Martin raised concerns about the temporary consent being unnotified.

"I think our rights to be notified were overridden. We have concerns whether or not this is going to be extended to a permanent consent and whether or not that would be notified.

"The main concern is the safety. The trucks are travelling far too fast."

Mr English said because the consent had a limited time frame the commissioner decided it did not need to be notified. The effects were minor due to the limited consent of 63 days.

He said he could not pre-determine if a permanent consent would be notified.

Resident Joe Harris said the effects could be mitigated by a lowered speed limit, as trucks could travel at 90kmh. He also suggested different access points were used to the quarry to spread the heavy vehicles over different roads.

Residents argued the effects were not minor, raising issues of dust and safety, with trucks crossing the centre line and travelling over the speed restriction.

Resident Barry Whyte asked why the consent had not been monitored.

"How were you able to take clay without a consent?"

Mr Rooney said the road was capable of carrying three times more than the 96 movements a day and the trucks were monitored for speed.

He was asked if he would be seeking a permanent consent.

"I have no idea what the plans are. I'm not a crystal ball gazer. I had no idea the council were going to be short of 42,000 cubic metres of clay. So at the end of the day that material has to come from somewhere. If we are offending three or four lots of families, we have to move material."

He said there had only been two clay jobs he could remember in the last 10 years.

Mr Odey was asked what he would do.

"We have to go through the right processes. I will do my homework based on all the concerns raised tonight."

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- The Timaru Herald

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