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Quarry works proposed for the inside of local racecourse


A New Zealand racecourse and an extractive operation are set to become unlikely stablemates, with a local developer proposing to repurpose part of the land into a gravel quarry.

Taggart Earthmoving has applied to the Waikamakariri District Council, based in the North Canterbury region of the South Island, for construction of a quarry inside the Rangiora Racecourse track and the land northeast to the racecourse.

Taggart’s application states it will operate between 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 7am to 3pm on Saturdays, depending on demand.

Racecourse activity is expected to continue alongside the proposed quarry between 10am to 5pm.

Rangiora Harness Racing Club president Greg Wright said income was needed due to a lack of income from racing.

“There is not a great lot of income coming out of racing at the moment,” he told Star News.

The land is not suitable to subdivide for housing, with minimal area being dug up at a time.

But residents are not hopping on the quarry’s bandwagon, fearing reduced property values, dust and noise and an impact to the local scenery, according to Star News.

“We don’t see any disruption to the activities at the course,” Wright said. “We are not digging up anywhere where horses are worked and the impact from vehicles would be confined to River Road.”

If the plan is approved, the club is expected to enter a commercial deal with Taggart to ensure remediation and regression of the land.

The company has predicted that up to 700,000m³ of material will be extracted across a 15-year period.

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