NorWest News – BY DANIELLE CLENT
4 April, 2017:
An application to extend a cleanfill site, which residents claim should never got consent, will be considered against new policies in Auckland’s Unitary Plan.
Auckland Council’s director of regulatory services Penny Pirrit said Dirtworks’ November 2016 application to extend its cleanfill in Taupaki was on hold as council awaited additional information from the company.
Project and consents manager for Dirtworks, Tom Sinclair, said calculations around ecological mitigation for the works were still outstanding.
Since the first consent was granted, the unitary plan had become partially operative and Taupaki was now zoned Countryside Living.
“The Countryside Living Zone has stronger objectives and policies relating to amenity and impacts on infrastructure, and the consent application will be considered against these,” Pirrit said.
A meeting was held about the 32-38 Nixon Rd cleanfill site on March 25. Council staff, local politicians and members of the Taupaki Residents and Ratepayers Association attended.
Auckland Transport has spent over $160,000 repairing the damage trucks have made on Nixon Rd.
Rodney Local Board member Louise Johnston said the meeting was in response to residents’ growing concerns for the state of the road and the new consent Dirtworks had applied for.
Chairman of the local board’s Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee, Cameron Brewer, said he was “encouraged” by how serious Auckland Council and Auckland Transport (AT) were taking the issues around cleanfills.
He said under the new zoning, gaining consent for these types of projects would be a lot harder than before.
“Operators will be less likely to bother because it is going to be harder for them to obtain a consent,” Brewer said.
He said council needed to think about where cleanfill sites would be better suited.
“Down country roads and lifestyle areas are completely incompatible as has been proven with Nixon Rd,” he said.
Sinclair said economic growth required fill sites to be as close to development sites as possible.
“This means that at least some need to be located in the peri-uran area. In the Dirtworks model, these are often small sites that last for under two years,” he said.
Taupaki resident Steve Antunovich said consent for the cleanfill should have never been granted by council in January 2016 because the public was never notified.
He said he was “absolutely disgusted” that as a ratepayer, he had to pay for the damage caused by heavy truck movements.
An official information act request showed that as of January 19, AT had spent over $160,000 repairing Nixon Rd since the cleanfill site started in June 2016.
Antunovich said there is constant noise daily as the sound “just rolls down the valley”.