Southland people the ‘in the dark’ over consent issue

    AB Lime Action Group chairwoman Katie Allan spoke to Environment Southland councillors last week, supported by group members.

    A SOUTHLAND group addressed regional councillors last week about being “left completely in the dark” over a controversial consent application.

    The AB Lime Action Group was formed after a consent application by the region’s key landfill in Winton was notified only to neighbouring properties.

    The consent sought to remove a 100,000 tonnes-per-annum cap on the tip, as well as include waste acceptance in emergency response situations.

    It would not increase its footprint or capacity.

    About 20 neighbouring properties were notified of the applications in January, and seven made submissions during consultation.

    Action group chairwoman Katie Allan explained members’ feelings at Environment Southland (ES) last Wednesday.

    “How can the people of Southland be so disregarded on such an important issue?

    “We are being left completely in the dark,” she said.

    One thousand people had since signed the group’s petition opposing the consent, she said.

    Group member David Rose passed around graphs detailing the predicted lifespan and capacity of the landfill, as AB Lime submitted in its application.

    It showed waste acceptance was likely to exceed the current consent limit by 2065 and, without a waste acceptance limit, it was likely to reach capacity by 2190. However, when projecting waste acceptance from the lower South Island with no acceptance limit from this year, the landfill was likely to be full by 2061.

    With the maximum accepted now, the landfill was likely to reach full capacity about 2255.

    Mr Rose said legal advice given to the group explained a judicial review would be needed to reopen submissions on the application. “To restore faith in democracy, we’d ideally like you to reopen submissions again,” Mr Rose told councillors.

    ES chairman Nicol Horrell noted councillors could not interfere with consents or compliance.