ERIN – The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has ruled in favour of Halton Crushed Stone Ltd.’s proposal to expand its Erin pit.
The July 2 decision by John Douglas would licence Halton Crushed Stone to extract a total area of over 50 hectares on 10th Line in Erin. This expansion will be north of where they currently extract which is still part of their property.
Erin mayor Allan Alls said the town was originally an official opposer to the site but eventually withdrew as he said the town felt issues would be adequately addressed.
“We did get quite a site plan from them on how they would address the smells, sights, sounds, etcetera with this new pit extension,” Alls said.
The possibility of mounting legal costs from an LPAT dispute also factored into this decision.
“You always have to assess what your chances are of winning something,” Alls said. “We felt what they were going to do would meet the requirements of the province.”
A citizen’s group continued to oppose the pit extension. However, Alls said they did not have any technical reasons for opposition.
Douglas’ ruling reflects this.
“Although sincerely held, the concerns raised by the remaining objectors with respect to the issues … of this decision were not supported by objective evidence,” the ruling states. “As a result, the objectors have not successfully demonstrated that approval of the extension will result in unacceptable adverse impacts in terms of noise, traffic safety, dust or on water quality or quantity.”
Alls said he doesn’t love having a gravel pit in town and he doubts anybody does. He recalled when he was a new citizen in the area in 1975, his house was the site of the first opposition meeting when the Erin pit was initially proposed by Dufferin Aggregates.
He said they don’t pay the amount of taxes the town feels they should and are an eyesore to the community.
“However, realistically we can’t build or have roads without them,” Alls said. “The nearer they are to the GTA, the more demand there is in our area for these pits. We happen to be situated on a large deposit of gravel.”
Alls explained that he’s happy Halton Crushed Stone Ltd. is a more local company who is willing to work with the town and residents to address any concerns. In his view, it’s not a large operation either as they aren’t mining below the water table.
The Town of Erin will receive a small levy payment but they are also interested in purchasing a piece of the land for their wastewater treatment plant.
“There’s two sites preferred for our wastewater plant as part of their property,” Alls said. “They would be required to remove their gravel before we purchase it but that’s still ongoing at this stage.”