Canterbury Regional Council has received nearly 5000 public submissions on plans for intensified dairy farming in the upper Waitaki region.
Three companies - Five Rivers Limited, Williamson Holdings and Southdown Holdings - have applied to establish 16 dairy farms that would house nearly 18,000 cows in cubicles for part of the year.
Public submissions on applications by two of the companies to discharge dairy effluent have already closed, while submissions on the third close on 15 January.
By 23 December, 4936 submissions had been received.
Jane Zusters, spokesperson for the environmental group MacKenzie Guardians, says thousands of people have objected, afraid they will lose a treasured landscape if the proposed farms go ahead.