A developer has applied to Central Coast Council to modify its consent for an $8.5m asphalt plant to operate at 203 Tooheys Rd, Bushells Ridge.
The consent was granted on April 9, but the applicant lodged a Part 4.55 (formerly Section 96) amendment, under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, on June 1.
Council had required the proprietor, Hunter Land Pty Ltd, to register a subdivision plan prior to being issued a construction certificate, but the application to amend the consent argued that the condition would result in the applicant experiencing significant delay in obtaining a construction certificate.
“There is no planning justification for requiring the subdivision plans to be registered prior to the issue of a construction certificate,” the Part 4.55 application said.
The asphalt plant would form proposed lot 1, in a subdivision to be created as part of an industrial estate under another development application, that is also subject to amendment.
The approved asphalt plant will have a production capacity of more than 150 tonnes per day or 30,000 tonnes per year, which is over the threshold for it to be a designated development under the EP&A Act, and hence, requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The site will operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
According to the EIS, the proposal also included construction and operation of ancillary development including, but not limited to, storage bunkers, workshop, office, laboratory, landscaping, lighting, signage, car parking, wastewater treatment and stormwater management.
“The proposal is defined as ‘light industry’ and is permissible, with consent, in the IN1 General Industrial Zone,” the EIS said.
“No significant adverse environmental impacts from construction or operation of the proposal have been identified during the preparation of this EIS,” it said.
“The Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment found that the predicted daytime construction noise levels are well below the criteria, and no consideration of noise mitigation is warranted.
“The Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Impact Assessment concluded that based on the results of the modelling, air emissions from the operation of the asphalt plant would not have a significant impact on local air quality, and would not be anticipated to give rise to any adverse amenity (odour) or health impacts.
“The Traffic and Parking Impact Assessment found that the proposal would have potential minor short term impacts on traffic during construction and minor long term impacts on traffic during operation.
“The proposed stormwater treatment and water supply systems meet all relevant water quality and quantity objectives.”
The EIS did acknowledge the impacts of the development on the environment, despite recommending approval by Council.
“The proposed development footprint will impact upon an area of open dry sclerophyll forest, as well as an area cleared for agricultural use.
“Approximately 0.75 hectare of dry sclerophyll forest and 1.7 ha of cleared grassland would be removed or modified.”
It also acknowledged impact on threatened flora, including the removal of nine out of 14 Angophera inopina individuals located onsite.
Five will be retained within the ecological buffer zone.
“The assessment found that the vegetation on site is not consistent with any EEC listed under the TSC Act or EPBC Act.
“Thirty four threatened fauna species have potential habitat within the dry sclerophyll forest found across the site, or the potential to be impacted by the proposal.
“An assessment of significance concluded that potential direct and indirect impacts to these species are unlikely to be significant.
“Nine hollow-bearing trees will be removed, but one suitably sized nest box will be installed for each hollow removed.”
Whilst the EIS did not find the likely impacts significant, a small number of surrounding land owners, including the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council (DLALC), made objections to the development.
“My property on Bushells Ridge Rd will be affected,” one objector wrote to Council.
“It will affect our tank water, but also, I have a eucalypt plantation.
“Private zoos with koalas can access this plantation to cut gum branches to feed to their koalas.
We do not want chemicals drifting onto this plantation.”
“Tooheys Rd must be sealed, as we are on tank water, and our house roof is only 20 metres from the road,” another submission said.
“Dust is becoming a big problem for us from the increased traffic we have now, and this is our drinking water.”
Several other submissions raised concerns about air pollution.
“Poly Hydrocarbons (PAH) will be admitted to the air from this plant.
“When the winds blow in the direction of a southerly, the residential of Bushells Ridge, Hue Hue and Tooheys Rds will be affected by the PAH emission from this processing plant, which will then, in turn, fall on our roofs and… will then in turn affect/contaminate our domestic drinking water.
“Dam water for stock and water for the native animals will be contaminated, and cause deaths to native animals and birds.
“In the EIS there is only mention of the Koala inhabitant, but there are many other native species in this area that have not been taken into consideration.
“The section of Bushells Ridge Rd in front of our house is laid on contaminated soil.
“This cannot be disturbed, and if the tar surface breaks up, this tar surface has to be replaced immediately to prevent contamination to our home and domestic water.
DLALC said it reviewed the proposal and had concerns relating to the works.
“According to the Office and Environment and Heritage AHIMS database, there are a number of registered Aboriginal sites located in close proximity of the property.
“The property is part of an Aboriginal Cultural Landscape.
“There seems to be undisturbed areas within the property and there does not seem to be any record of an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Site Survey being conducted at any time for the property.”
DLALC recommended a site survey be carried out before any type of development or further land clearing.
DA1511/2016, Jul 24
Wyong DA Tracker, Central Coast Council