18 September 2022

Green waste facility still a goer, says Government after DA knockback

| Ian Bushnell
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Mulching at green waste facility

Canberra Sand and Gravel’s green waste facility at Parkwood will need to stay open for longer. Photo: File.

A proposal for a green waste facility in West Belconnen has fallen foul of ACT planning rules but the Government says it will still be delivered.

The Government identified the site on Stockdill Drive in January last year, promising to keep the current Canberra Sand and Gravel site open until that operation could be relocated to the new one, after protests from Belconnen residents and a petition.

But the planning authority has knocked back the development application because the green waste facility was described as temporary, despite the permanent structure and road works proposed.

The notice of decision said the proposal could not be considered temporary and the DA fell over due to clashes with a range of planning rules to do with site use, predicted traffic generation and remediation issues.

READ ALSO Harvesting Canberra’s food waste in tough times

Transport Canberra and City Services, 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.

The proposed facility was also inconsistent with the site’s non urban zoning (NUZ1) because it was deemed a recycling facility.

Under the Territory plan, garden waste is included in the definition of a recycling facility.

“The authority is not satisfied that the subject land is suitable for the proposed development,” the notice of decision said.

Proposed Belconnen green waste site

The proposed West Belconnen green waste site. Photo: ACT Government.

Canberra Liberals Planning and Land Management spokesperson Peter Cain, who sponsored the petition, accused the Government of backflipping on its commitment to the facility.

“It comes as no surprise that now the Labor-Greens Government has backtracked on this commitment by rejecting the DA for the temporary green waste facility.

READ ALSO FOGO, recycling initiatives just the tip of the waste iceberg

“I’ve written to the Minister asking for clarification on why the DA was rejected, and what the Government will be doing to ensure a facility stays open in the Belconnen area.

“As far as I can see, the concerns that caused the DA to be rejected are largely to do with internal ACT Government agencies not communicating.”

Mr Cain urged the Government to find a permanent location in the Belconnen region as soon as possible.

But a government spokesperson said the ACT Planning and Land Authority made decisions on development applications independent from government.

“The Canberra Liberals are displaying an astonishing lack of understanding on how the ACT Government works,” the spokesperson said.

“The Government will still deliver the green waste facility – as promised.”

The spokesperson said the Government was working through the feedback on the development application and would continue to work through the planning system to deliver the northside facility addressing the issues that have been raised.

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Capital Retro8:21 pm 18 Sep 22

You don’t gave to be a rocket scientist to work out that the odour from a green re-cycling industry would impact only on the huge residential subdivision to the west.

And who is a JV partner in that development?

It’s amazing the government cannot keep up with its own planning rules and submit such an poor DA. Was there not any substantial pre-DA work done between the relevant agencies before submitting the DA? Surely ACTPLA would have pointed out the problems early on in the process?

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