Why doesn’t the Council ban quarrying in the district?

The Council is required to give effect to the Regional Policy Statement which clearly identifies quarrying as being a rural activity that needs to be provided for. So banning quarrying in our district would be illegal.

Can a moratorium be put on current applications?

The Council has no legal ability to place a moratorium on quarrying within Selwyn district.

Any applications for resource consent in regards to new/expanding quarries will therefore be looked at by the Council under the current operative District Plan and the Council will approach each consent based on its own merit.

Once the Proposed District Plan is notified, both the operative and proposed Plans have effect, with the provisions of the Proposed Plan gaining more weight as it moves through the formal statutory process. The current operative District Plan only ceases to have effect when the Proposed District Plan becomes operative.

What setback distances is the Council considering?

Presently we are only considering including a setback into the Proposed District Plan. The actual distance of a setback is yet to be determined and will be subject to the formal consultation once the Proposed District Plan gets notified in early 2020. At the moment we are seeking feedback on where a setback should be from: a dwelling, the property boundary of a dwelling, or the residential zone boundary. The findings of Environment Canterbury’s dust monitoring programme at major quarrying sites in the region will also be considered as these may inform any potential setbacks.

What about introducing a quarry zone in the district like they have in the Christchurch city?

The review has looked at introducing a quarry zone within our district, however the Council has endorsed not to pursue a quarry zone.

The review found that a quarry zone would provide a higher level of certainty to rural and residential property owners as to the quarries that could establish in proximity to them and reduce the tension between quarries and more sensitive activities. However, a quarry zone would likely cause the land prices within the zone to go up while prices for adjoining land would go down. A zone may also result in a cluster of quarries in one location with significant adverse effects on the surrounding environment which would make it hard to determine from which location the effects were coming from.

Quarry zones also don’t provide for the necessary flexibility that is required by the industry to meet the local demand. And finally, a designated quarry zone doesn’t necessarily mean quarrying couldn’t happen outside of the zone, as resource consents could still be sought to enable this.

The Council will explore developing a map which would show where in the district high quality gravel exists. This would purely be developed for public information rather than the map having any regulatory role.

What is the Council trying to achieve by potentially transferring to the regional council its function of controlling air discharge where there is an adverse effect on amenity values?

Air quality is acknowledged as a key area of overlap and potential duplication between regional and district authorities. For example, Environment Canterbury assesses the discharge of contaminants to air (dust), and the Selwyn District Council assesses an air discharge where an adverse effect occurs on amenity values.

This means that most quarry applications require a consent for the same air discharge from both regional and district councils.

By potentially transferring the Council’s function to Environment Canterbury we would look at reducing unnecessary duplication and making it clearer for quarry operators and residents who controls air quality.

At this stage of the District Plan Review we’re only considering whether we should change how air discharges from quarrying and other similar activities that discharge dust and odour on a regular basis, for example intensive farming and mushroom farming, are controlled. Before we draft the Proposed District Plan, we want to hear what the public’s view is on this.

Where can I find more information about the District Plan Review of quarrying to date?

For more information about the Council’s preferred option for draft changes to quarrying and all the work done to date as part of the review visit Council website where all the reports developed for the District Plan Review are kept.