Cement plant hearing to proceed

Cement plant hearing to proceed
Published: 15 August 2007

A local pressure group opposing a $200 million cement plant near Weston, New Zealand has failed in its bid to have the proposed plant declared a non-complying activity.

The Waiareka Valley Preservation Society went to the Environment Court in Christchurch last Friday to argue Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd’s proposal was non-complying. The society has opposed the plant because of the environmental effects it will have on the Waiareka Valley and surrounding communities.

It initially sought four declarations from the court on resource consent applications Holcim had filed with the Waitaki District Council and Otago Regional Council. Three of those declaration applications were later withdrawn by the society but it proceeded with one on noise standards in the cement zone area where Holcim proposed to establish the plant.

When contacted yesterday, Holcim’s general manager of strategy and development, Paul Commons, said Judge Jon Jackson gave an oral decision, dismissing the call for a declaration, and a hearing would begin in Oamaru on Monday as planned. The court’s decision came as no surprise to Holcim, Mr Commons said.