KIDD Street residents who banded together to protest a concrete batching plant proposed to be sited a stone’s throw from residential properties are one step closer to celebrating a momentous victory.
Despite being recommended for approval, the development was deferred at Monday’s Central Highlands Regional Council meeting on the grounds further advice was needed.
Councillors said the requested reports would have to be “extremely convincing” if the development was to go ahead. A whopping 135 submissions opposing the development were sent to council.
Now, a final decision hinges on reports for the three major issues of flood impact, acoustics and a water and environmental report.
The applicant is also required to address the issue of on-site fuel storage.
Kidd St resident Sharon Cooper was one of the 135 who produced an individual submission.
Mrs Cooper said she hoped this was another stepping stone toward victory but added that she was disheartened about having to again wait anxiously for a decision.
She said her family house sat only 60 metres from the proposed site on Cameron and Munro Sts.
Emerald Hospital, workers accommodation, motels and parkland are all located in close proximity to the proposed site.
The application was open to public comment for 15 days, during which residents from Hogans Rd, Kidd St, Baker St, Aid St, Pryor Pl and Boland Pl mobilised to produce a startling number of submissions.
Submitter issues included the appropriateness of zoning, noise, hours of operation, dust, flood impacts, water quality and contamination, public health and the effects on residential property values.
CHRC Mayor Peter Maguire said he was very conscious about the possibility of the site having adverse environmental impacts during flood events, especially after it emerged that Victorian legislation stated concrete batching plants were not to be built in flood-prone areas.
Cr Maguire also expressed concern about the lack of an acoustics report included in the proposal.
“The environmental impact statement refers to noise impact, which residents have expressed concern over, but doesn’t include an acoustics report. There is no mitigation for noise included anywhere,” he said.
Town planning group Murray and Associates, who is handling the application, refuted residents’ claims that the proposed concrete batch plant would result in land use conflicts, given its proximity to existing residential development, in a response to the submissions.
The group also rejected submitters’ claims that the plant would be 60 to 150 metres from residential areas, rather claiming it to be 230 metres.
The response addressed plans to minimise air and noise pollution, traffic levels and health concerns.
But it was the proposed flood mitigation that appeared to be the crux of councillors’ concerns.
“I’m seriously thinking of rejecting it right here,” Cr David Brimblecombe said. “There is going to have to be very good flood planning to change my mind,” he added once it was decided that the matter be deferred until further reports were received.
The development proposal would be revisited once the reports were received.
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