Damage horrifies Geary

Martin Geary is horrified by damage to the Otago Peninsula hill that bears his family's name.

Mr Geary, now living in Alexandra, was the third generation of his family to be born on the Papanui Inlet farm covering Geary's Hill.

The hill was home to a quarry now owned by Steve Clearwater Contracting, which was seeking a revised consent after breaching existing consent conditions.

Mr Geary, in a written submission to today's hearing, said the quarry had become an ''unsightly mess'' that was damaging the surrounding landscape, and the application should be rejected.

He, his father and grandfather had all grown up on the property, and seeing the damage now was ''devastating''.

Russell Lauder, another descendant of the Geary family, agreed, calling for the quarry to be closed and the site reinstated to its original condition.

Others opposed to the application included neighbour Megan Bardell, who moved in beside the quarry in 1996.

Since then it had transformed from a small quarry to a larger, noisier operation attracting more heavy vehicles.

A grassy paddock next to their home had become ''a scruffy hill of rubble'', while blasting rattled windows and rock crushing forced her to wear earmuffs while gardening.

She urge the council to make ''an example'' of the quarry by declining the application, given its history of consent breaches.

Michel de Lange, of Company Bay, said Papanui Inlet was a fragile wetland of ''outstanding natural beauty'', and needed to be protected from such an ''eyesore''.

''This is no place for a quarry. I accept there must be quarries, but most certainly not in such a location.''

Te Runanga o Otakou, in its submission, also strongly opposed the application, saying the quarry was fundamentally different from what had been consented.

The 40 submissions also included eight supporting the quarry, arguing the rock resource extracted was needed on the Peninsula and the quarry's location was strategic.

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