Council staff hear landfill concerns

The  Brighton area may have been a suitable site for a landfill when selected 30 years ago, Saddle Hill Community Board chairman Scott Weatherall says.

“It certainly is not now,” he said.

In his 40 years in the community there had been huge changes, not only to how the area was used but also in how many people lived in it.

The latest landfill proposal was “snuck through” the second-generation district plan, he said.

“We will accept nothing less than an open and transparent fully notified resource consent.”

About 120 people filled the Brighton Community Hall last night as Dunedin City Council staff...
About 120 people filled the Brighton Community Hall last night as Dunedin City Council staff answered questions about a proposed class 1 landfill near the small seaside town. PHOTO: HAMISH MACLEAN

About 120 people filled Brighton Community Hall to standing room only to ask questions of Dunedin City Council acting chief executive Sandy Graham and infrastructure services general manager Simon Drew.

Several councillors attended, but Ms Graham said the Smooth Hill landfill was not the only option councillors would consider at a meeting next month and asked concerned residents to bring concerns directly to them.

She took notes during the meeting to follow up with the council but said members of the community could be heard at a public forum before an August 5 meeting when councillors would consider consultation on the proposal.

She said the councillors would consider “a range of options” at the meeting.

The discussion would not be open to the public, because the councillors had to make commercial decisions.

Asked why it seemed as if so much was happening “at the 11th hour”, she admitted the council had not been dealing with the issue 10 years ago.

Mr Drew answered questions on the independence of consultants engaged, the transparency of the proposed process and whether there were alternatives to the landfill.

Brighton volunteer Chief Fire Officer Grant Tapp raised concerns about the fire risk it could pose, and its accessibility to fire crews.

The night was organised by Big Stone Rd resident Sarah Ramsay, who said odour and noise, proximity to the airport, and the possible environmental effects were major concerns.

Among her concerns was an increased prevalence of gulls and their possible effect on the waterways.

Former Dunedin city councillor Colin Weatherall said the investigation done 30 years ago would be “totally different” if repeated today.

He urged the community to get involved as the city council made its decision, but said the community would have another chance to be heard.

“Then, ultimately, it needs a consent — that’s the challenge that we have, to participate in that process.”

An Otago Regional Council spokeswoman said a decision on who would be considered an affected party would be made upon receipt of a consent application.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

 

 

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