Parkway Group Appeals Luggate Quarry
The Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group has decided to appeal a recent decision to approve a large gravel quarry near the Devil's Nook at Luggate. The decision, by Independent Commissioners Michael Parker and Sally Middleton followed a hearing in Wanaka on September 15.
The consent allows Fulton Hogan to operate a 46-hectare quarry, for a term of 40 years, on a site between State Highway 8A and the Clutha River Mata-Au, near the popular Devil's Nook recreation area. The quarry is permitted to operate six days a week from 6am to 6pm weekdays with a half-day on Saturday, and with up to 100 truck movements per day. Public access to the river is to be retained through an entrance way shared with trucks around the boundary of the quarry. There were 28 submissions, with 27 opposed.
The Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group submitted against the application on the grounds that the site was too sensitive to absorb a large scale mining operation, with physical restoration impossible. At the Group's AGM last Thursday, they decided to appeal. Chairperson, Lewis Verduyn, said:
"We were surprised that the application was approved, given landscape rehabilitation of such a large pit is not possible in this location - in other words the hole will not be filled in. The Council Planning Report recommended removing the western portion of the proposed quarry site closest to the Devil's Nook and the river, to partially protect this much-loved area for the benefit of the community, but the Independent Commissioners chose to give consent to mine the entire site. We were especially disappointed that several submitters who had indicated that they wished to give evidence, were denied the opportunity to be heard."
A number of the submitters have indicated that they are keen to join the Parkway Group's appeal.