Residents seeking full waste fight
Otaua residents are still unsure of the Franklin District Council’s intentions in the looming Environment Court hearing for the appeal of the relocation of a waste oil plant to the village.
A public meeting was held in Otaua on Wednesday to discuss what steps can be taken for the court hearing of the appeal from WPC to develop on the site of the old Otaua Tavern.
The appeal was made by WPC after FDC appointed an independent commissioner who advised against the development.
While FDC has decided to defend the decision against WPC in the Environment Court, Otaua resident Bill Lee said the community wants to know how far they will fight it.
‘‘We want the council to do it and do it properly but we are not sure of their intentions.
‘‘We don’t know if they are prepared to mediate or not but if they are we want to be ready to go further if we need to,’’ he said.
Mr Lee said he and other residents are not willing to mediate on the issue so if council do, it will still end up going to court.
In the case before the Environ- ment Court, WPC intends on calling on comprehensive expert evidence and Mr Lee said they want FDC to have evidence to contest this.
‘‘We need to know what council have done or are going to do because if they don’t provide evidence we want to do it.’’
At the pubic meeting of around 40 residents, a group was formed to raise funds for costs.
FDC’s general manager of environmental services, James Jefferson said the council is intending to defend the decision to the Environment Court, but did not comment further. ‘‘As we are a respondent before the Environment Court in this matter, it is inappropriate for Franklin District Council to comment further at this time,’’ he said.