Future of controversial Gympie region quarry revealed
A CONTROVERSIAL quarry planned at Bells Bridge is expected to be crushed by Gympie Regional Council this week over noise and dust problems.
In an application lodged with the council last July Developers Fortrus Pastoral proposed opening the 41ha quarry on a property fronting the Wide Bay Highway.
Once operating it would allow up to 100,000 tonnes of material to be dug up and removed from the site.
However a council report to be presented to councillors at Wednesday's general meeting says the application clashes significantly with the town planning scheme.
"The applicant has not been able to demonstrate no impacts on nearby residents in terms of noise, dust and vibration and this is not considered acceptable given the number of houses likely to be affected,” the report says.
"Further, there is no overwhelming need for the material in the region to justify the impacts proposed.”
MORE COUNCIL NEWS
- $6m work being delivered to Gympie in next three months
- How pending changes to Gympie's planning scheme affect you
There were 75 submissions lodged about the application, with about half being made by residents of the surrounding areas.
Staff say this highlights to what extent the plan is "contrary to community expectations”.
Noise, dust, blasting, increased heavy traffic and pollution were some of the 19 problems raised by complainants.
And they had merit.
"Many of the concerns raised in the submissions are agreed with,” the report says.
"... the proposed development has the potential to have significant impacts upon the amenity, proximity to sensitive receptors and character of the area as well as raising safety concerns for the users of the Wide Bay Highway.”
"This is in terms of possible flyrock and overpressure caused by blasting operations.”
The proposed quarry would also be within 1km of 12 existing houses.
"The impacts on these residences associated with the proposed use, are not considered to be at acceptable levels for the rural residential development they were approved as.”
"The submissions raise valid planning concerns with respect to visual amenity, safety, a lack of demonstrated need, lack of suitable buffers and impacts from noise and traffic.”
In all the council advises refusal on 13 specific clashes within the planning scheme.
Developers Fortrus Pastoral said in their initial application traffic levels would remain "well within” what is accepted for the Wide Bay Highway.
They said the land was home to cattle, but the landscape of the planned area of the quarry stops it from being used for grazing.
The proposal faced fierce opposition from a community group last year that called it a "great risk to the environment”.
"Quarry developments should remain in zoned quarry areas not in quiet rural communities which are zoned rural residential,” Bells Bridge resident Allison Huth said in July last year.