Hearings are under way at Hastings District Council, with civil engineering company Russell Roads hoping to gain resource consent to expand its quarry in Maraekakaho.

Resource Consent hearings on the issue began yesterday , with Russell Roads presenting its case to hearings commissioner Paul Cooney.

The company hopes to move its processing operation to the same site it extracts river gravel from, as well as allow from increased production of aggregate (processed gravel) in the future, as demand increases.

Historically the company has extracted river bed gravel from one site on the Ngaruroro River, and processed it at another site.

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During submissions, Russell Roads' lawyer Richard Brabant said this consent, if granted, would guarantee the right of Russell Roads to process any gravel which is brought out of the river.

"The point for Russell Roads, which is highlighted by what's happened here, they've been carrying on since 1993, without any difficulties as a combined operation, and then they've had to get a consent process under way to deal with this."

He said the application and evidence from expert witnesses were comprehensive, and established a basis for consent to be granted, subject to conditions.

Submissions from Russell Roads included looking at issues such as dust, noise and the landscape.

If granted the consent would allow Russell Roads to process gravel on its extraction site and construct small, ancillary structures, such as an office and build security fences.

They will also utilise an existing farm access way as access into the quarry, as opposed to using the existing access way.

In his written submission, Russell Roads managing director Robert Gale said the access road would remove quarry-related traffic from the existing access road.

"It will not just be a much better, much safer access for quarry traffic, it will remove that traffic from an access road that is used for other purposes."

The hearing continues today, with residents of Maraekakaho, who largely oppose the application, submitting.

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