Council staff say not to concrete crushing plant planned for Gormans Hill

PLANS to develop a concrete crushing plant at Gormans Hill are set to be rejected by Bathurst Regional Council.

Senior planning staff have recommended councillors knock back the proposal earmarked for an existing quarry at 145 Gormans Hill Road.

A report to next week’s council meeting says the quarry owners have been stockpiling concrete and construction waste on the site “over an extended period of time” without consent but advises that the “existing unlawful use” should not impact on consideration of the current development application.

The DA seeks approval for the quarry owners to sort and stockpile concrete that would be brought to the site from off-site projects being undertaken by Hibbo Hire Earthworks Solutions.

Soil would be removed from the waste to resold as clean fill and the concrete would be crushed in a Jacques Jaw Crusher before being loaded onto trucks to be removed from the site.

A number of residents living close to the quarry objected to the development, with dust from the crusher their main concern.

Noise was also raised as an issue, along with an increase in heavy vehicle movements and concerns about the crushing facility’s proximity to waterways.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority also had reservations about the plan, citing “inadequacies” in a Statement of Environment Effects that had been submitted with the DA.

“The EPA contends that the proposed active area of the development site is indeed within 250m of non-associated dwellings with three of these residential properties located within 200m,” EPA Central West unit head Darryl Clift wrote in a letter to council in September 2016 when the DA was first lodged.

“… As a consequence, the development should be considered designated development with the subsequent preparation of an environment impact statement.”

The EPA also cited a “lack of detail in the SEE in relation to noise, air and surface water quality”.

Council’s environmental, planning and building services director Neil Southorn has recommended councillors reject the application, saying it cannot be approved without and EIS.

Councillors will consider the DA at Wednesday night’s monthly meeting.