Water bottling expansion consent approved, with conditions

BIG PICTURE: This diagram depicts Nongfu’s, through New Zealand company Cresswell NZ, proposed expansion of the Otakiri Springs bottling plant if an application to draw 580 millions litres of water a year is permitted. Graphic supplied

RESOURCE consents have been granted allowing the Otakiri Springs bottling plant expansion, a day after ministers Eugenie Sage and David Clark gave Nong Fu the green light to invest in the Eastern Bay operation.

In a decision report released today, commissioners Rob van Voorthuysen and Antoine Coffin ruled that, based on the qualified expert evidence presented, “the actual and potential adverse effects of the applications are either demonstrably minor, or can be suitably avoided, remedied or mitigated by the imposition of consent conditions”.

They also found that, if granted, the applications “will have positive effects, particularly in terms of the employment of local people, including local Maori”.

Conditions imposed include road widening, pavement and intersection upgrades; introduction of a traffic monitoring plan to assess any effects on traffic movements and road safety; intersection lighting improvements; site access and parking requirements; a railway level crossing upgrade (including half barrier arms and lights); measures to reduce the visual effects of the development; restrictions on heavy traffic and container movements; external activities, noise and external lighting restrictions; and the creation of a neighbourhood liaison group.

Submitters wishing to appeal the commissioners’ decision must lodge that appeal within 15 working days of receiving the decision. The right to appeal is restricted to submitters on the applications, and the applicant.