GWYDIR Shire Council has approved the development application (DA) for the Bethel Flour Mill project at Bingara but with conditions.
Mayor John Coulton said those conditions were that council would only approve stage one at this time and that if stage two was approved it would have to go into the light industrial area; and a satisfactory fire report into stage one had to be approved.
The organic mill proponents, Ralph and Jo Waters, had 30 days from the February 28 meeting date to agree to the conditions.
Cr Coulton said a petition signed by 31 people had been presented with people worried about the effects of the mill in terms of dust and truck movements on Cunningham St residents.
Three people had also addressed a committee meeting before the general council meeting.
“They had some very valid points,” Cr Coulton said.
“There was a lot of community pressure.”
He said the Waterses had reduced the DA back to stage one, which had about half the output capacity of stage two.
In stage one, Mr Coulton said, “if it reaches full capacity, it will go to 6000 tonnes a year”.
Stage two would have been roughly double that, at 12,000 tonnes.
The stage-one approval would see a total of one truck movement a day.
“We thought that would be enough,” Cr Coulton said.
He said part of the consent conditions was that if the organic flour mill proceeded to stage two, that stage would have to go to the light industrial area and not be included in the proposed location of stage one – the two-hectare Cunningham St property owned by the Waterses on the eastern edge of town.
Cr Coulton hoped the project would get off the ground, even though it would take five years for stage one to get up to capacity, because Bingara needed extra employment and tourism opportunities.
“I really wish them well. I hope it is a success,” he said.
If passed, the mill will make top-grade gourmet flour, including durum, rye, spelt and a fine flour with 9 per cent protein and low gluten, as well as wholegrain flour.