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Published: 2010-03-02 00:00:00

Environment Waikato and Waipa District Council have granted resource consents to a Ngahinapouri dairy farmer to extend an existing sand mining operation and undertake associated earthworks.

The extension to sand mining would involve the extraction of up to 1.6 million cubic metres of sand over more than 20 years.

In the decision on the applications from LA and DA Coombes to undertake the earthworks and sand mining, EW’s hearings commissioner Graeme Ridley and Waipa councillors Diane Sharpe, Laurie Hoverd and Graham Jull noted arguments for and against expansion of the sand mining operation.

But Mr Ridley and Crs Sharpe, Hoverd and Jull said they were satisfied the earthworks and extension to sand mining on the Coombes’ dairy farm could be carried out in a way that was consistent with relevant EW and Waipa policies and plans.

Mr Ridley said "the proposed on-site dust control measures are best practice" and that provided the mitigation measures proposed by the applicant are implemented "any potential adverse effects as a result of dust generation should be minimal".

He also noted that "the impacts on the groundwater quantity and quality, as a result of the proposed activities are no more than minor".

Mr Ridley said "the applications can be granted subject to conditions aimed at reducing any potential adverse effects to the environment" and that the Coombes would be able to carry out their expanded operation without causing effects to neighbours.

Crs Sharpe, Hoverd and Jull said that "potential adverse effects regarding traffic and pavement deterioration, visual and landscape effects, and noise effects will be no more than minor subject to ongoing compliance with the conditions of consent".

The councillors noted that "granting the consent will allow volumes of aggregate to be extracted that are required to meet market demand".