Decision delayed on future of controversial Canterbury quarry

The site proposed for the Fulton Hogan quarry. Photo: Martin Hunter
The site proposed for the Fulton Hogan quarry. Photo: Martin Hunter
Opponents and supporters of a planned quarry near Christchurch will have to wait a bit longer for a decision on whether the controversial project will go ahead.

The hearing for Fulton Hogan’s proposal to open a quarry between Dawsons, Jones, Maddisons and Curraghs Rds in Weedons will not be made this month.

The hearing has not finished because the independent hearings panel, chaired by Rob van Voorthuysen, has asked Fulton Hogan for more information about the quarry.

The hearing reconvened on February 5 so commissioners could decide if Fulton Hogan’s right of reply had addressed issues around the quarry sufficiently or if the application would be declined.

The company’s right of reply to concerns raised throughout a three-week hearing late last year was made public earlier this month.

Leading up to the reconvening of the hearing, an Environment Canterbury spokeswoman said it was possible the hearing could close that day if the commissioners were satisfied with the response.

While it was not normal practice, the commissioners allowed written questions from submitters at the reconvened hearing to be put to Fulton Hogan - if the commissioners agreed they desired the answers themselves.

The questions written by submitters passed on to Fulton Hogan by the commissioners were:

  • What route will trucks accessing or departing the proposed quarry take if the Dawsons Rd railway crossing is unavailable due to planned maintenance or unforeseen events?
  • How much land does Fulton Hogan own in the Christchurch City Council quarry zone that has been consented for quarrying but has not yet been quarried?
  • How much other land does Fulton Hogan own outside of the city council quarry zone (a part from the Roydon site) that has been consented for quarrying but has not yet been quarried?

Roger Cudmore. Photo: Supplied
Roger Cudmore. Photo: Supplied
At the reconvened hearing, Golder Associates (NZ) principal environmental consultant Roger Cudmore also presented new evidence addressing the potential offsetting of air pollutant PM10 from the quarry.

New written replies to Mr Cudmore’s evidence is now required by the panel.

The panel also had further questions for Golder Associates (NZ) associate and senior environmental scientist Audrey Wagenarr who was unable to attend the hearing.

Fulton Hogan and other organisations required to respond to the new evidence presented at the hearing will have until Friday, February 28, to do so.

Jolene Eagar. Photo: Supplied
Jolene Eagar. Photo: Supplied
Said Templeton Residents’ Association secretary Jolene Eagar: “It is pretty much out of our control at this stage, but in the end, she would rather the commissioners make an informed decision than feel rushed."

If the panel is satisfied with the response they will close the hearing and a decision will be released 15 working days later.