Big stink as tannery seeks to operate for further 35 yearsBy DAVID WILLIAMS - The Press
Residents are battling a Christchurch tannery's bid to renew its consent to discharge contaminants into the air.
Lowe Corporation seeks a 35-year consent for the continued operation of a coal-fired boiler, which uses a 26-metre-high chimney in Station Rd, Belfast, and for odour emissions.
The company said at a hearing in Christchurch yesterday that it had made substantial improvements since gaining its last consent. A biofilter now treated gases from processing drums and the business no longer operated as a sheepskin fellmongery.
Four substantiated odour complaints have been made over the past decade, but Environment Canterbury officers found the smell was not offensive beyond the property's boundary.
Lawyer Sarah Day told commissioner Barry Loe and regional councillor Rik Tindall that "substantial capital" had been invested to meet environmental standards.
"It's unfortunate that an industry that has been operating in Belfast for so many years has to battle with such opposition whenever it comes time for renewal of consent to continue with its activities," she said.
In his submission, Belfast School principal Peter Simpson said there had not been enough time for the community to be fully consulted on the effects.
The Northwood Residents Association was strongly opposed.
"We see the continued discharge of foul air into the atmosphere as detrimental to the living conditions and amenity of our residents," its submission said.
The hearing will end today.