BATHURST Regional Council is set to approve a development application (DA) for a medicinal cannabis growing operation in the region.
The DA is on the agenda for this week's ordinary meeting and a report from the director of Environmental, Planning and Building Services recommends that consent be granted.
"Having regard to the planning controls that apply to the proposed development, the proposal warrants approval subject to recommended conditions," it states.
However, the report also acknowledges that there were concerns raised about the proposed development in the four submissions received during the notification period.
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The submissions raised issues in relation to safety and traffic impacts on Freemantle Road, odour impacts, noise impacts, visual impacts, crime/security impacts, lighting impacts, boundary fences, impacts on property value, land use characterisation, compatibility with surrounding land uses, water use and source, waste management and the social and economic benefit of the proposed development.
The concerns were addressed by the applicant, with their responses summarised in the report to this week's meeting.
When it comes to odour, the risk of offensive odour has been deemed to be "minimal", while noise is proposed to be mitigated with measures such as an acoustic barrier, silencers and reduced rigid connections to minimise vibration.
Regarding the concerns about the potential for crime, NSW Police is satisfied the development won't pose a great risk provided certain measures are taken.
"Following the assessment, the NSW Police have determined that the proposed development has a low risk provided that the proposed methods are carried out and that the recommendations of the NSW Police are implemented as conditions of consent," the report says.
If council approves the plans, the facility would be built at 1673 Freemantle Road, Watton, approximately 23 kilometres north east of Bathurst
The total building footprint is 6600 square metres and includes a greenhouse for the growing and cultivating of medicinal cannabis, a processing building with six production rooms, store, vault (for finished product) and dispatch area, and an ancillary office building.
A 35-space car park is also proposed to be constructed.
Approximately 8000 kilograms of medicinal cannabis would be produced per annum.
"The finished product is aimed at managing chronic pain, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis as well as pain associated with palliative care," the report says.
"It is expected that once fully operational the facility will employ up to 50 people."
While this a new style of development for the Bathurst region, other council areas have approved similar proposals, including in Tamworth.
Multiple conditions of consent would need to be met by the developer if the plans are approved.
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