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Published: 2006-06-21 00:00:00

An Environment Waikato Hearing Committee has granted Te Kowhai Sands 2006 Limited resource consents to undertake sand quarrying activities at Te Kowhai, subject to a range of conditions.

Two committees, one appointed by the regional council and the other by Waikato District Council, considered submissions on the issue at a joint hearing in May.

Te Kowhai Sands aims to excavate approximately 1,200,000 cubic metres of sand and sandy silt materials from a site on rural land next to SH39, two kilometres north of Te Kowhai village.

The company applied to Waikato District Council to establish and operate the sand quarry.*

It also applied to Environment Waikato to undertake earthworks, remove vegetation, discharge dust, place overburden and cleanfill onto land, and take groundwater.

All parties within a 200m radius of the site were notified of the proposal. Environment Waikato received five submissions outlining concerns about soil and water contamination, dust, traffic, noise, groundwater influences and landscape issues.

After careful consideration of the evidence and a visit to the proposed site, the Environment Waikato Hearing Committee granted all applications relevant to the regional council, determining any environmental impacts of the proposed activities would be minor.

Te Kowhai Sands will be required to produce erosion and sediment control, dust and cleanfill management plans to ensure the operation does not adversely affect the Te Otamanui Lagoon, neighbouring residents or the long-term productivity of soils at the site.

A landscape management plan will also be required, which will ensure landscape planting along the Te Otamanui Lagoon maintains and enhances the area’s amenity and ecological values.

A temporary earth bund will visually screen the operation from SH39 and control noise and dust emissions. A second bund will be constructed to protect Te Otamanui Lagoon.

As sand excavation is undertaken, the 13-hectare sand pit will be progressively filled and re-grassed.

In its report, the Committee said it was satisfied the proposed activities were “consistent with the purpose and principles of the Resource Management Act 1991, and the objectives and policies contained within the Waikato Regional Policy Statement and the Proposed Waikato Regional Plan”.

“Given this and the fact the adverse effects of the activities proposed can be adequately avoided, remedied or mitigated, the Committee is satisfied that consent can be granted,” the Committee said.

Please note: This media release relates only to the decisions made by Environment Waikato’s hearing committee and does not include Waikato District Council’s decision(s). Please contact Waikato District Council for information on its decision(s).