Fill site to go ahead following appeal
A community fight to stop a managed fill has been lost in the Environment Court.
The Blackbridge Environmental Protection Society (BEPS) has been working to prevent a proposed managed fill operation at 294 Blackbridge Rd, Dairy Flat, since 2015.
Norshu Bulc Limited applied for consent to establish and operate the site which would see 940,000 cubic metres of managed fill trucked in from building sites over 10 years. Managed fill includes contaminants or hazardous substance levels that are higher than natural background levels, but where adverse environment and health effects remain less than minor.
The application for 240 truck movements per day, six days a week, was declined by Auckland Council. Norshu Bulc appealed, amending their application to 600,000cum.
Residents formed BEPS to support the council defending the appeal and were concerned about the effects of noise, waterway contamination, dust nuisance and safety hazards.
In a revised application, and following mediation, Norshu Bulc reduced the amount of truck movements to 160 per day on weekdays only.
It also made modifications to address the council and residents’ traffic concerns with minor alterations to the Blackbridge Rd, Postman Rd and Dairy Flat Highway intersection, upgrading a one-way bridge priority signage and implementing a pedestrian/ cycle/equestrian advanced warning system at the one-way bridge, and installing pipes in four roadside channel sections to improve pedestrian and equestrian access to the berm. The company would also seal the full length of the unsealed section of its access road and install a dust monitoring system to reduce dust emissions to acceptable levels.
Ecological concerns were addressed with efforts including riparian planting, protection and restoration of wetlands, and the capture and relocation of lizards and fish. Environment Court judges and commissioners granted consent subject to conditions.
‘‘We find that the adverse dust, noise, visual and traffic effects on lifestyle amenity ... will be no more than minor.
‘‘Any potential adverse effects arising from the operation of the fill site will be largely internalised on site or mitigated to an acceptable level,’’ they said.
A fill site has been approved after an Environment Court appeal.