Boambee landscape supply business DA digs up non-compliance issues

Non-compliance issues by MI Organics bulk landscape supply business in Boambee have led to a recent development application being lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

BOAMBEE landscaping material business MI Organics has lodged a development application with Coffs Harbour City Council to further expand its landscape supply operation to encompass recently rezoned industrial area, in order to address years of Council non-compliance.

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In November 2010, Council issued MI Organics with a ‘Direction to Take Prevention Action’ under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 in relation to wastewater discharged to Boambee Creek.

Part of the solution was to submit a planning proposal to rezone part of the site to IN1 General Industrial, which would better reflect the actual land use and allow the construction of roof structures over the storage bins containing leachate-generating material.

The planning proposal was approved by Council at an ordinary Council meeting on 9 November, 2017.

A Voluntary Planning Agreement was part of the planning proposal, which outlined three stages associated with the development and revegetation of the site following the rezoning.

According to a report on the organisation’s recent development application, undertaken by GHD Coffs Harbour, MI Organics expanded outside its approved boundary into land previously zoned 6(b) Open Space (Proposed) under Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 1988, which was then zoned E2 Environmental Conservation and R2 Low Density zones under Coffs Harbour Local Environmental Plan 2000.

Letters from the NSW Environmental Protection Authority in 1995, 1997 and 1998 requested the former farm dam be used as a collection basin, which was outside the original approved operation boundary, bunding around the windrows as a priority and concreting of all waste receival areas, including the traffic areas.

However, no formal approval from Council for these improvements was obtained.

The site was inspected a number of times by the EPA and Council after it expanded outside its approved boundary.

The current development application includes a further expansion of the MI Organics site at a cost of $50,000 to an area of approximately 1.51 hectares and includes relocating the storage bins, constructing new storage bins with roof structures, constructing a water treatment area (sedimentation area) and construction of a channel directing water from the water treatment area to the existing basin/former farm dam on the site, and regrading the operations area to direct stormwater into the sediment basin.

The development application is intended to address the stormwater issues associated with the organisation’s ‘Direction to Take Prevention Action’ issued by Council, and address the inconsistencies between MI Organic’s existing approval and its current site layout, and comply with its Voluntary Planning Agreement signed with Council in 2017.

An information flyer about the current development application was recently distributed to nearby households by a concerned local resident to inform them of the organisation’s plans to expand, and its past history of non-compliance.

When contacted by News Of The Area, Council confirmed MI Organics’ current development application was a response to the Planning Proposal approved for the site, and that the development application will “address non-compliance matters related to the expansion”.

“Council does not condone changes being made without Council approval,” Council stated in a written response.

“The planning process, including the Planning Proposal and Development Application, seek to address non-compliance matters.”

Council said it had undertaken compliance investigations in relation to matters referred to in Council’s previous approval for the site.

“Council has been involved in compliance investigations, these matters are currently being investigated further through the DA process,” Council stated.

The current development application can be viewed on Council’s DA Tracker webpage at https://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Building-and-Planning/development-approval/Pages/DA-Tracker.aspx by searching 0108/21DA.

Public submissions can be made on the development application on Council’s ‘Have Your Say’ webpage at [email protected].

 

By Emma DARBIN

 

Non-compliance issues by MI Organics bulk landscape supply business in Boambee have led to a recent development application being lodged with Coffs Harbour City Council. Photo: Emma Darbin.

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