Northland Waste facility future debated

A two-day hearing into a resource consent application by Northland Waste to build and operate a waste management centre at 183 Sandspit Road was held in Warkworth last week.

The 3.6 hectare site, which is currently occupied by Wyatt Haulage and Landscaping Supplies, is zoned future urban and Council has recommended the application be declined on the grounds it is contrary to the objectives and policies of the zone.

Northland Waste previously leased sites at Lawrie Road in Snells Beach and Rustybrook Road in Wellsford, before Council terminated the leases earlier this year.

The company is proposing to build a $3 million undercover facility at the Sandspit Road site to deal with domestic, commercial and industrial waste, clean fill material, green waste and recyclable material, with household quantities of hazardous wastes accepted for special handling, storage and disposal.

It will be developed in two stages, initially receiving up to 15,000 tonnes of waste a year from the rubbish collection fleet only. A maximum of 15 trucks (30 truck movements) and a maximum of 10 cars (20 car movements) will visit the site a day at stage one.

The operation would double in stage two when the facility would start accepting waste from the public.

By stage two, it was estimated there would be up to 200 vehicle movements a day.

Council planners conceded that the project was consistent with some objectives and policies, notably those pertaining to earthworks, stormwater management, transport, industrial trade waste, noise and odours.

However, reporting officer Junitta Fretton said the proposal was an urban industrial activity, which was not consistent with the recognised rural character of the area.

Seven submitters supported the application, seven were neutral and 47 were against.

The main resource management issue raised in submissions were pest and weed control, and the quality of discharges to streams; odour, dust, noise and hours of operation; traffic effects; rural character and amenity values; and zoning issues.

Northland Waste counsel, Jeremy Brabant, said a key issue facing Auckland was its ability to enable growth, particularly in terms of housing choice, supply and the provision of land for urbanisation.

“This proposal locates waste management infrastructure on a site already hosting commercial activity, located within a quarry buffer zone, adjacent to a working quarry,” Mr Brabant said. “The proposal responds to several resource management imperatives while not undermining the broader intention of the holding zone.”

He said consent with conditions would be appropriate.

The hearing was held in the Old Masonic Hall on September 11 and 12.

The commissioners – Richard Blakely (chair), Peter Reaburn and Mark Farnsworth – have 15 working days after the closure of the hearing to make a decision.

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