Battle looms for Baiada

BAIADA Poultry faces a tough battle to secure approval for its $82 million development at Manilla after dozens of submissions were lodged against the controversial project.

Tamworth Regional Council this week confirmed it received 80 objections from 35 individual landholders opposing the poultry giant’s plans to build Australia’s largest broiler farm.

In contrast, just seven submissions were made in favour of the project, which, if approved, would comprise 70 sheds across five farms housing up to three million birds in total.

The depth of feeling surrounding the Strathfield project has prompted the council to hold another “engagement session” in Manilla on April 28 to provide “feedback about key points”.

Only residents who made a submission to the council during the public consultation period are invited to the meeting, at which Baiada representatives will be in attendance.

Manilla resident Bob Wales, who has campaigned strongly against the project, said it was highly unusual for further consultation to be done at this stage of the assessment process.

Last month The Leader revealed the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) had put the proposal’s assessment “on hold” and requested more information from Baiada.

“The EPA has reviewed this information and provided preliminary advice to council,” the EPA’s north branch director, Gary Davey, said.

“Concerns have been raised in relation to possible odour impacts and the EPA will be discussing this further with council.”

Mr Wales said the potential for foul odours emanating from the operation had been one of the major concerns among members of the Namoi River Community Group.

“The odour has the potential to drift all the way down to the other side of town, so it is a concern,” he said.

“For me personally, it’s probably not as big a concern as the traffic and safety issues along the road, but it would be very high on the list for people closer to the development.”

Council’s director of planning and community services, Jackie Kruger, said all submissions, both for and against the project, had been forwarded to relevant government agencies for consideration.

“It will be some time before it is known when the development application will be formally considered by council, but those who made submissions will be advised beforehand and the wider community will also be advised through local media,” she said.

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