19 January 2023

Government has another crack at northside green waste facility

| Ian Bushnell
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Mulching at green waste facility

The Canberra Sand and Gravel green waste facility in Parkwood Road. Photo: File.

True to the ACT Government’s word, another bid has been launched to establish a temporary green waste facility in West Belconnen.

Last year the planning authority knocked back a development application for the operators of the current facility in Parkwood Road, Canberra Sand and Gravel, to set up a new operation to service Canberra’s north on a block in Stockdill Drive until a permanent one could be established.

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Transport Canberra and City Services had identified the new site after a community backlash at the impending closure of the West Belconnen Resource Management Centre so the land can be remediated for residential development as part of the Ginninderry joint venture between the ACT and Riverview Group.

But the proposal fell foul of planning rules covering traffic, bushfire and utilities management and failed to gain support from agencies, as well as the planning authority, raising concerns about whether it would actually be a temporary operation, which brought it into conflict with the Territory Plan.

Proposed Belconnen green waste site

An aerial view of the proposed Belconnen green waste site and surrounds. Photo: TCCS.

TCCS, which administers both roads and waste, could not support the DA.

The development was also considered inconsistent with the Bush Fire Risk Mitigation General Code, and the ACT Emergency Services Agency also could not support the DA.

It was an embarrassing outcome for the Government, which had proposed the development only to see its own agencies sink it.

Now a reconsideration has been lodged which says the issues have been addressed, including more information to show that the facility will be temporary.

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TCCS says it can now conditionally support the proposal, which involves a new all-weather access road off Stockdill Drive and the interim upgrading of the Drake Brockman Drive / Spofforth Street intersection to deal with increased traffic and safety issues, subject to design and works matters raised by Roads ACT being dealt with.

It also says further work will be required to ensure that any disruption to bus services is properly managed.

A bushfire risk assessment from GHD made a number of recommendations that it said would make the project compliant if adopted.

These included asset protection zones, a 40,000-litre water tank for firefighting, the limiting of pile heights and updating of emergency and evacuation plans.

The green waste and composting facility will be more than a kilometre from the nearest home in Ginninderry.

The reconsideration is open to comments until 6 February.

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