Some Buchanan Road residents are concerned about expanded land improvements at the Rosebush gravel pit in Lavington.

Some Buchanan Road residents are concerned about expanded land improvements at the Rosebush gravel pit in Lavington.

Pit receives a rocky ride

Some Lavington neighbours aim to steer the work of a major ranching outfit clear of their front yards.

Some Lavington neighbours aim to steer the work of a major ranching outfit clear of their front yards.

For years, Coldstream Ranch has operated the Rosebush gravel pit in Lavington. But in recent years it has moved and expanded in order to level out and reclaim the surrounding land for agricultural value.

“This is a land improvement project,” said Ted Osborn, director of projects for Coldstream Ranch.

“The total project is 73 hectares and we’ve already completed 59 hectares so there’s only 14 hectares left to be done, of which four hectares has already been approved.”

Therefore an application has been submitted to the Agricultural Land Commission to work on the remaining 9.4 hectares.

But some Buchanan Road neighbours aren’t keen on having the operation creep any closer to their homes.

“This ‘pit’ is very close already and would not be something that any of you would tolerate in your front yard,” said neighbour Alice Ramsey in a letter to council.

“Therefore why should it be allowed in the front residential yards of those of us living along Buchanan Road.”

Despite complaints of dust and noise created by the operation, Osborn insists that the ranch is working to alleviate such issues.

“The actual open area is actually only one-third of what it was before so there’s less area to create dust,” said Osborn.

Coldstream council is expected to review the ranch’s latest ALC application in February.

Neighbours opposed to the operation hope the politicians will enact some sort of bylaw to control the operation. This is not the first time they have requested the district to do so.

If the application gains ALC approval, work will continue on land reclamation and is expected to be completed by 2018.

“It just depends how much product moves out each year,” said Osborn, noting a slower than average need for sand and gravel in the area recently.