30 Jul 2015

Otago quarry seeks retrospective tick

8:15 pm on 30 July 2015

A quarry on the Otago Peninsula that has breached its resource consent conditions is applying for retrospective approval.

Papanui Inlet on Otago Peninsula

Papanui Inlet - an Outstanding Landscape Area Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

The rock quarry on Geary's Hill in Papanui Inlet is in a designated Outstanding Landscape Area.

In 2007 it was given consent, with 22 conditions placed on its size and visual effect.

However it has expanded beyond the set limits and the quarry owner is now applying to vary the consent conditions.

The Dunedin City Council wants new limits placed on the operation, but a consultant for the quarry owner has challenged that, saying the breaches were not intentional and there has been fault on both sides.

The application is being heard over two days by an independent commissioner for the Dunedin City Council.

quarry owner Steve Clearwater (left) and his planning consultant Keith Hovell (right).

Quarry owner Steve Clearwater (left) and his planning consultant Keith Hovell (right). Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

A council report says the owner, Steve Clearwater, has breached at least nine of the original consent conditions which placed limits on the size of the operation.

But a planning consultant for Mr Clearwater, Keith Hovell, said the way the application was set up and the conditions that were put on it were not clear.

"For much of the work that he has done on the site he thought he was acting in compliance with the conditions.

"It was only when a survey was done by registered surveyors that we were firmly able to establish no, he had gone outside where he was allowed to be."

Mr Hovell said the council did not properly monitor the quarry.

The quarried dirt 'overburden' dumped in large piles in front of the quarry pit.

The 'overburden' dumped in in front of the Geary Hill quarry pit. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer