17 Aug 2009

Appeal against North Otago cement plant dismissed

4:26 pm on 17 August 2009

The Environment Court has dismissed an appeal against the building of a $300 million cement plant at Weston near Oamaru.

The Otago Regional and Waitaki District councils had earlier granted resource consents, but this was appealed against.

In a 100-page decision, the court has confirmed the more than 40 resource consents needed for the North Otago plant.

Holcim New Zealand now has seven years to make use of the consents.

The company wants the option to build a plant at Weston with the potential to produce nearly 900,000 tonnes of cement a year.

However, it has not decided if it will go ahead and replace its plant at Cape Foulwind near Westport.

One of the appellants, Waiareka Valley Preservation Society, says it accepts the court's decision and will not take any more legal action.

Spokesperson Rodney Jones says a cement works will have a profound effect in the valley and locals hope it will not go ahead.