The planned upgrade of Fonterra’s Studholme plant looks set to go ahead with resource consents for the project now lodged.
In April the dairy co-operative held a meeting in Waimate detailing its proposal to upgrade the plant with two new dryers.
Fonterra’s national environment group manager, Ian Goldsmith, said the company wanted to answer locals’ questions about the proposal before asking the Waimate District Council for a resource consent.
At the time Studholme site manager Alan Maitland, said the expansion remained a proposal only.
But on Wednesday the Waimate District Council’s resource planner, Kevin Tiffen, said resource consents had been lodged.
Fonterra lodged resource consents with the council on August 12, about the same time it filed the paperwork with Environment Canterbury, Tiffen said.
For now though the applications would be pushed aside while the council seeks further information on the project.
“They were lodged last week, so we intend to go back and get some further information.
“I see they have both been put on hold,” Tiffen said.
It is likely the consents will be approved in September.
Tiffen said the council wanted the plans reviewed before proceeding.
“We’re seeking a peer review of some of the technical information before we publicly notify, because we know the public will want to know what’s going on,” he said.
Property and Regulatory group manager Sue Kelly said she was not aware of any building consents being lodged at this stage.
The factory extension will take up to 18 months to build, requiring up to 500 workers to work from 6am until 10pm.
A dark strip down two new 59 metre dryer towers would diminish their visual impact.
A waste water outfall pipe north of the factory is also proposed, with Goldsmith adding any difference between the waste water and sea water would be undetectable 500 metres away from the outlet pipe.
In April Goldsmith said the completed factory would require two extra trains daily taking the factory’s products north to Timaru’s port, and another supplying coal.
In May the Waimate District Council made the call to sell roads surrounding the Studholme plant to Fonterra.
A price of $155,000 had been “independently assessed as the market value of the land”, a council report stated.