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Banks Peninsula residents kick up stink about consent for massive cattle feedlots

By Niva Chittock of RNZ A group of Banks Peninsula residents concerned at the prospect of massive cattle feedlots being built in...

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By Niva Chittock of RNZ

A group of Banks Peninsula residents concerned at the prospect of massive cattle feedlots being built in the area have delivered a petition to Canterbury Regional Council calling for them to be stopped.

Farm company Wongan Hills has applied for consents to build four large composting feed farms on their Kaituna Valley farm – which could hold up to 2200 cattle – near Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere.

Four large sheds would house the cattle 24 hours a day, year-round.

According to an independent assessment, undertaken as part of the consent application, the barns are designed to create compost at a high enough temperature that all liquid effluent would evaporate.

The composted bedding material generated from the barn will be spread to land every one to two years.

Over 3000 people have signed the petition, which was presented to councillors and MPs Tracey McLellan and Eugenie Sage by the Little River Eco Collective.

Little River Eco Collective Donald Matheson says the plans would bring a stench of ammonia, an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, flooding risk and a threat to animal health. Photo / Supplied
Little River Eco Collective Donald Matheson says the plans would bring a stench of ammonia, an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, flooding risk and a threat to animal health. Photo / Supplied

The group is concerned about the impact of industrial farming on the valley, including trucks, the stench of ammonia and the visual impact, an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, flooding risk and the threat to animal health.

Spokesperson Donald Matheson believed the project would have a similar effect on the community to Christchurch City Council’s Bromley Composting Plant.

“This has the same potential of emitting offensive and objectionable odours, which will have adverse effects on neighbouring residents similar to the experiences of the Bromley community,” he said.

Matheson also wants the council to publicly notify the consents and claimed Wongan Hills had not carried out sufficient consultation with the local community.

One resident who lived within 500m of the proposed barn site and local iwi had been consulted.

Canterbury Regional Council is yet to make any decisions on either of the consent applications lodged.

Councillors said it would be up to senior planning staff to decide if the application will be publicly notified.

Wongan Hills has previously appeared in the Environment Court for irresponsible farming practices.

– RNZ



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