Environment Waikato has received 529 valid submissions on a resource consent application by roading company Blacktop Construction to build an asphalt plant in Hillcrest.
Of these, 521 submissions opposed the plant, five supported it and three were neutral, with 280 submitters wanting to be heard in person when the hearing committee considers submissions.
The top three concerns amongst submitters were:
- concern for the proximity of the proposed plant to residents, schools and shops
- degradation of local air quality
- the effect of increased traffic levels on noise, dust, air quality and safety.
Other concerns included odour, noise, dust and health effects, impacts on local ecosystems, impacts on property and amenity values and water contamination.
Effects relating to noise, traffic and property values fall outside Environment Waikato’s jurisdiction.
Those opposing the plant included the Waikato Raupatu Trustee Company Ltd, Hamilton City Council and Waikato District Health Board, who all wish to be heard.
A neutral submission was received from Waikato District Council, which governs an area immediately east of Mangaonua Esplanade. The council asked for appropriate conditions to mitigate possible problems arising from the proposed activities.
Submitters in support of the application included Perry Resources, J Swap Contractors Ltd, Glass Investments Ltd and IH Wedding & Sons Ltd. Reasons given for their support included:
- the importance of asphalt supply to the community’s and country’s infrastructure
- the proposed site being in the correct and only appropriate zone for the operation
- increased public demand for better roading placing greater demands on asphalt manufacturing
- employment opportunities
- the suitability of the location for transporting supplies south.
Environment Waikato commissioned an independent expert review of the technical aspects of the resource consent application and is waiting for this to be completed before setting a hearing date. The review is scheduled to be carried out in early November.