Gravel removal consent renewal sought

By Laurel Stowell

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The Byford quarry and construction business is seeking consent to continue taking gravel from Rangitikei's Kawhatau River.

Byfords Quarries has been taking, crushing and stockpiling gravel from four places at three sites there for 30 to 40 years - "since Adam was a boy", general manager Graeme de Rose said.

For the first time the consent renewal has been publicly notified, so that anyone can make a submission on it by the deadline of December 15.

The company is seeking consent to take up to 20,000 cubic metres of gravel a year from the river.

The consent will be for an unlimited term, and Mr de Rose would like it to last as long as possible.

Staff are only at the sites at certain times, getting greywacke rock from the river or its edge, crushing it and leaving it in stockpiles.

He said there were now many more restrictions on taking gravel. The regional council restricted the volumes available.

There were also restrictions on working hours.

"You are not allowed at certain times of year because of fish, or at weekends because of anglers."

The restrictions would drive up costs for taxpayers and ratepayers, he said.

"The country hasn't actually worked that out yet. The resource consent process is quite onerous."

No submissions have been received so far, and Rangitikei District Council senior policy analyst Katrina Gray doesn't know how many to expect.

Civil engineering business Stringfellows bought the Byford quarries and construction businesses three years ago. They now have 25 central North Island quarry consents and 25 staff.

The metal made is sold to the New Zealand Transport Agency and district councils.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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