10 Sep 2021

Dome Valley landfill: Auckland Council declines Waste Management plan change

6:45 pm on 10 September 2021

Campaigners fighting a proposed landfill at Dome Valley say they have had a "good win" today.

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Dome Valley. Photo: The Wireless / Luke McPake

Waste Management's application for a plan change for a landfill precinct in the valley has been declined in a unanimous decision by Auckland Council appointed commissioners.

Fight the Tip executive member Michelle Carmichael said this was only "part of the battle" amid an ongoing appeals process against a resource consent granted for initial landfill proposed.

"This is a very good win in our ongoing fight to protect our environment and waterways as it confirms that the concerns we raised are significant and valid," she said.

But the group will "continue to focus on our appeal in the Environment Court against the resource consent".

Waste Management can also appeal the commissioner's plan change decision but "they will now also be up against Auckland Council who we expect to defend this decision", Carmicheal said.

"This is a very positive first step in ... those reasons to decline will provide us with stronger arguments for our court appeal against the resource consent."

In a media statement, Auckland Council said the plan change sought to have the entire 1000 ha Dome Valley site recognised as a "landfill precinct" in the Unitary Plan.

The decision to decline the plan change request was made by the same independent commissioners who earlier this year approved the resource consent application on the same site.

"The decision to approve the resource consent application to construct and operate a specific landfill is not affected and does not change.

"The resource consent decision has since been appealed to the Environment Court by eight parties.

"The two different decisions are allowed for as they relate to two standalone planning processes."

The council said the commissioners heard six weeks of evidence from Waste Management New Zealand, submitters, mana whenua and over 20 Auckland Council specialists.

"The panel states in their decision that the precinct would have given an unacceptable signal that the site is generally appropriate for landfills going forward, and that they think existing Unitary Plan rules are more appropriate for the site."

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