Residents of Upper Tantallon, N.S., and surrounding communities say they’re upset that Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources exchanged Crown land in their area to a quarry company without public consultation.
“We’re disgusted, really. We’re furious,” said Nick Horne, a director of Westwood Hills Residents Association.
Earlier this month, Scotian Materials was approved to get 59.3 acres of Crown land in Ingramport in return for 237.2 acres of its own.
Lloyd Hines, minister of natural resources, said consultations are not “typically” done on land exchanges, of which hundreds are made each year.
The lands were previously owned by Bowater Mersey, and when they were sold to the government, residents had their say.
“As a result of those public consultations, this particular block of land was designated for industrial use,” said Hines.
Scotian Materials operates a quarry in the area on land it already owns. Robert MacPherson, president of the company, said an application has been submitted to the Halifax Regional Municipality to set up an asphalt plant at that specific site.
The newly-acquired land is adjacent to it.
“The advantage of having land around our existing operation is that, at such a time in the future, if we wanted to look to expand our aggregate operation, that we would have contiguous land to do that,” said MacPherson.
The company will also be using roads in the forest.
“It looks like a pretty dangerous road through the woods that people currently use to walk their dogs, to ride horses, to go ATV-ing,” said Horne, who also raised concerns about the surrounding environment should trucks tip over or crash while carrying quarry or plant material.
Hines said the roads have been used for industrial purposes before.
“There’s no more issues of safety or concern with trucks travelling on this road than there is on any road within the province of Nova Scotia,” said MacPherson.
Horne said his group members, who are active on 广州桑拿网, will continue to try to fight the deal and prevent the asphalt plant from being built.
When asked if the land exchange decision would be reversed, Hines said, “I don’t think that that’s a very reasonable expectation.”