Brandy Hill and Seaham Action Group oppose Brandy Hill Quarry growth

AT CAPACITY: Quarry neighbour Margarete Ritchie said Brandy Hill Drive was already at capacity. Mrs Ritchie is pictured here in 2014. Picture: Johnathan Carroll
AT CAPACITY: Quarry neighbour Margarete Ritchie said Brandy Hill Drive was already at capacity. Mrs Ritchie is pictured here in 2014. Picture: Johnathan Carroll

Brandy Hill and Seaham Action Group want quarry owners Hanson to come to the party if they are to support expansion plans.

Hanson wishes to double the output of the Brandy Hill Quarry from 750,000 tonnes annually to 1.5 million tonnes.

The plans, including a concrete recycling facility and concrete batching plant, would create 10 new jobs – about 30 in total.

But a founding member of the action group said an additional 500 truck movements each day would break the already fragile community.

“We don’t want it to shut down but we don’t want it to expand unless there are certain concessions,” Margarete Ritchie said.

“When you put all these little pieces together – the recycling trucks, the cement trucks and the extra gravel trucks – it adds up to a big problem.”

Hanson says the quarry will be forced to close in documents that form part of an environmental impact statement, if it cannot start a new pit on the property.

Port Stephens Council first approved the quarry in 1983 and along with it, 27 truck movements. On average, the quarry now requires 340 truck movements a day from 6am – often earlier, Mrs Ritchie said.

The plans explain this will grow by 504 trucks a day.

“It will overload the road system,” Mrs Ritchie said.

“There are no footpaths and no bus bays.

“Parents either have to drive their children to the bus or drive them into Seaham Public School.”

Hanson has said it will be foreced to close if it can’t gain approval from the Department of Planning and Environment.

“Hanson is continuing to consult widely with the local community, as well as working closely with the local council and with state government authorities,” a spokesman said in a statement.

“We are aware of the concerns expressed in the past by some members of the community and want to assure them that the proposed development will meet the strictest NSW planning and environmental regulations.”

The Department of Planning and Environment scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday night (after publication) at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club, as part of its assessment process.

People have until April 9 to make any submissions for or against the project.

Visit the majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au website.