Bubbly lobby group wants Riverlea change
Members of the lobby group who opposed an asphalt plant in the Hamilton suburb of Hillcrest want the area rezoned.
Last night champagne flowed as members and supporters of the Riverlea Environment Society celebrated Blacktop Construction Ltd's decision not to seek consent for a hotmix asphalt plant off Riverlea Rd in Hillcrest.
About 15 people gathered at society spokesman Stephen Hamilton's Chesterman Rd house to toast the news and plot their next campaign.
"From the beginning I've maintained the Riverlea Environment Society is not a single issue group," Mr Hamilton said.
"Blacktop was the spark that got us going, but we're very focused on getting Riverlea Rd rezoned, back to a residential and light industrial zone.
"Being zoned light industrial would allow the type of businesses we have here at the moment, like panel beaters and a dance studio.
"We've told business people we're happy with their presence here and don't want to push them out."
Blacktop technical manager Rhett Bishop said the company was now looking at other possible sites in the Waikato.
Mr Hamilton said the society already faced about $10,000 in legal and consultation fees but would have had to pay tens of thousands dollars more in costs if they had opposed Blacktop at next week's planned Environment Waikato consent hearing.
"I think Blacktop have every right to feel aggrieved with what's happened. They went into an industrial zone and thought they had a right to be there but were turned away."