Holcim and council settle

Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd and the Waitaki District Council have reached an agreement over changes being planned to the Waitaki district plan which could have affected proposals for a $400 million cement plant near Weston.

The council proposed two variations covering landscape and visual amenity and general indigenous vegetation clearance, parts of which could have affected Holcim's plan for a cement plant and quarries in the Waiareka Valley.

The plant and quarries already have resource consents from the Otago Regional Council and Waitaki council, but a decision on whether to go ahead with the project will not be made until later this year.

Holcim in October appealed provisions in the variations to the Environment Court, followed by mediation between the two parties.

That mediation resulted in agreement on changes to the variations, which have now been approved in a consent memorandum issued by Judge Jon Jackson.

Holcim has withdrawn its appeals and the court memorandum has made changes to the variations agreed to by the council with the cement company.

In its appeal, Holcim said changes proposed by the variations could have an effect on resource consents already granted for the cement plant on the Weston-Ngapara Rd.

The changes provide for the extraction of limestone and tuff in the cement policy area, provided the characteristics of the significant limestone escarpment, known as the Whitstone, are protected from inappropriate use and development.

Changes have been made to other provisions in the variations to reduce the effect on the cement policy area where the cement plant and limestone-tuff quarry would be located.

Provisions covering indigenous vegetation clearance within the cement policy area have also been eased.



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