A plan to build a concrete batch plant in East Porpoise Bay has drawn some criticism, but Stockwell Sand and Gravel hopes residents will learn about the project before making up their minds about it.
“The batch plant we’re talking about will have absolutely zero impact on the environment and it will be practically noiseless,” said Gina Stockwell, co-owner of Stockwell Sand and Gravel.
She and husband Bill Stockwell want the proposed batch plant to win environmental awards and change people’s thinking about concrete production.
“Our plant will use the new technology,” Bill stated.
“The noise at our batch plant will be no greater than the sound of someone running a household vacuum,” added Gina.
The proposed plant would recycle any water used back into the plant operation. The plant also has a vacuum system to help keep dust down.
The Stockwells hope to tell more people about their proposed project at an upcoming information meeting at the Blue Heron Restaurant this Monday, April 23 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Horst Blattman, the designer of the batch plant, will be on hand to answer questions. Blattman is responsible for designing similar plants and larger scale plants in Canada and around the world, including Lafarge’s Port Metro Vancouver batch plant, which won an environmental award earlier this year.
The Stockwells plan to get into the ready mix concrete business in an effort to use more of the product they are mining and bring down the grade of the hill substantially. Eventually the Stockwells want to build a residential neighbourhood there.
“But first we have to get all of the gravel out,” Bill noted.
The Stockwells are currently seeking an official community plan (OCP) and zoning bylaw amendment to designate the area as I-2 to allow the batch plant to be set up.
Ironically the couple fought to have the OCP designation kept as low density residential in 2010 to accommodate their future plans to build a housing development, but now they’ve learned that designation must be changed to allow the batch plant.
The plant would be located at the northeast corner of the property, approximately 275 metres from the nearest resident, and it would be buffered by berms and trees.
“That’s to help protect the neighbouring area from the visual impact of our operations,” Gina noted.
She hopes the public will come out to the April 23 public information meeting to learn more and ask questions and the Stockwells invite interested members of the public to come and tour the site this Saturday, April 21 from 2 to 4 p.m.
The upcoming public hearing on the project will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m. at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt.