04/16/2013 10:54 EDT | Updated 06/16/2013 05:12 EDT

New grain silos anger North Vancouver residents

A North Vancouver city councillor says Port Metro Vancouver approved the permit for two new grain silos without listening to residents.

The Richardson Grain Terminal is slated to undergo a $120 million expansion with the silos, each of them 54 metres tall, built east of the current facility.

Coun. Don Bell says he is not opposed to expanding the facility, but the new silos will have a serious impact on nearby residents, including obstructing some views.

"They have to recognize that they can't just ride roughshod over the concerns of the residents because it's affecting their quality of life.”

The issue was raised during community consultations and in a letter from the city to Port Metro Vancouver. Residents asked the port to consider other options, but in the end the decision to issue the permit lay solely with the Port of Metro Vancouver.

Duncan Wilson, spokesman for Port Metro Vancouver says it reviewed all the options, including building shorter silos or expanding to the west instead of the east along Low Level Road

"[That] would have required putting fill in Burrard Inlet, and the silos would also have to be much taller than the current ones, and it would impact other people's views," said Wilson.

“In the end, the initial proposal was found to be the most logical one,” he said.

The expansion is expected to take two years to complete and will double the capacity of the existing grain terminal. Wilson says the company will be required to take a number of steps to reduce noise and dust.

The expansion of the grain terminal is just one of a number of number of expansion plans for the port that have been generating opposition.

A plan to expand the existing Neptune Terminals coal facility in North Vancouver has also been generating opposition in Metro Vancouver.

Another plan to increase the capacity of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline that terminates in Burnaby and increase oil tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet, has also provoked opposition.