Saddle Hill 'relatively unchanged', says DCC

An aerial view of the quarry on Saddle Hill, near Dunedin, from two weeks ago. Photo by Stephen...
An aerial view of the quarry on Saddle Hill, near Dunedin, from two weeks ago. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Quarrying has not changed Saddle Hill's profile during the past seven years, a Dunedin City Council landscape architect says.

After comparing past and present photographs, the council had "no immediate concerns" about the visual effects of quarrying on Saddle Hill, both Mosgiel Taieri and Saddle Hill community boards will be told at meetings this week.

Resource consents manager Alan Worthington said a landscape architect had reviewed aerial photographs of Saddle Hill from 2000-07 and compared the present views at various public viewing points with earlier photographic views of the hill.

The adverse effects on natural character and visual importance had been assessed as "minor to moderate" and the skyline profile was described as "relatively unchanged".

The boards asked council staff to investigate concerns of Taieri residents, who wanted the shape of the landmark hill protected against quarrying activity.

Saddle Hill property owner Colin Mackintosh told the Mosgiel Taieri board in June the shape of the hill had deteriorated in the past 40 years.

Saddle Hill's distinctive shape was remarked on by Captain Cook more than 200 years ago.

Mr Worthington said the council was still investigating existing use rights of the quarry.

It was not known when the quarry was started and if it had been lawfully established.

If it had, existing use rights would need to be examined to see what they allowed and how much quarrying could be undertaken, Mr Worthington said.

Investigating historic records was not a five-minute job and if the quarry was established before the first district plan in the 1950s it would be even more difficult to trace documents.

The quarry is leased to council subsidiary Delta Utility Services by Saddle View Estate director and quarry owner Calvin Fisher.


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