Straight to hearing for dump plan

The Dunedin City Council will not get together with opponents of its landfill plans to thrash out concerns at a pre-hearing meeting, the Otago Regional Council says.

An ORC spokesman said there would be no pre-hearing meeting with the DCC and the nearly 300 submitters on its proposal for a landfill south of the city.

A hearing would be held in the middle of this year and all parties that submitted on the consent application would get an opportunity to speak, the spokesman said.

"The ORC has not invited the applicant or any of the submitters to a pre-hearing meeting, as there is clarity on the issues that have been raised," he said.

"The decision to invite or require people to attend a pre-hearing sits with [the ORC].

"With applications of this scale and complexity, this level of public interest, and where the issues are clear, it is common for the application to proceed straight to a hearing."

Pre-hearing meetings were just one tool available to use if needed.

How long the hearing would take was something the ORC would be looking at over the next month or two.

The ORC would be in touch with all parties that submitted, the spokesman said.

The overwhelming majority of 283 submitters opposed the DCC’s consent application for a landfill near Brighton last year — two submissions were in support, nine were neutral and 272 opposed.

The effect a landfill would have on Otokia Creek and its estuary at Brighton Beach, the broader environment and aviation safety at nearby Dunedin Airport were among the concerns raised.

When submissions closed in November the council had not yet ruled out a pre-hearing meeting.

ORC consents manager Joanna Gilroy said at the time a pre-hearing meeting could be held with the ORC, the DCC and submitters who wished to be involved.

Similar to mediation, a pre-hearing meeting was facilitated by an independent person as a way to narrow down the issues to be discussed and identify points of agreement or disagreement, she said.


Disgraceful. The way the DCC treats the ratepayers with contempt is unacceptable.