TAMWORTH’S BMR Quarries has lodged a development application seeking changes to some of the conditions imposed on its quarry expansion.
The changes relate to three separate development conditions: the widening of the shoulder on New Winton Rd from Tangaratta Creek; widening the existing culvert adjacent to Duri-Wallamore Rd; and increasing the quarry’s extraction rate to 150,000 tonnes over 16 years after the expansion is completed.
In its application to seek changes, BMR expressed concern about the cost of the roadworks to the company.
The report stated, should the quarry be required to widen New Winton Rd and the culvert, it would cost about $1.525 million, before the quarry expanded its operations and had sufficient income to meet those costs.
“This upfront cost of $1.525 million, compared to the $640,000 in upfront costs used to assess the commercial viability of the proposed quarry expansion, based on discussions with Tamworth Regional Council, are considered to be excessive and would diminish any long-term prospects for this regional business,” the report said.
As an alternative, BMR suggested the three development consent conditions needed to be changed.
Under the proposed changes BMR has requested, rather than widening New Winton Rd to nine metres and putting down a bitumen seal on the entire length of the road, it would widen the road to nine metres and seal the road shoulders with 200mm of bitumen, overlapping the existing road.
The report said widening the culvert would not be supported by the current road design and suggested it would fund the installation of advanced warning signs on the approach to the culvert, as well as fund edge line marking.
A request to change the wording of development consent condition six – which requires the quarry to extract no more than 150,000 tonnes over a 16-year period – was also made. Instead BMR has proposed it will supply the council with annual extraction records and requested the period for extraction be extended to 24 years, not 16.
The application said, because demands for quarry products such as gravel could ebb and flow, there may still be useable life in the quarry after the determined 16 years.
The opportunity for members of the public to comment on the proposed changes closed earlier this month.
Submissions received by Tamworth Regional Council have since been referred back to the Joint Regional Planning Panel.