A DEVELOPMENT application seeking approval for the construction of a $45 million, 852-room miners’ village in Boggabri has been approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).
At a meeting in Boggabri yesterday afternoon the panel approved a recommendation to support the development of the facility on the Caloola Rd to support the area’s ever-growing mining industry, and in particular “fly-in, fly-out” workers.
The approval wasn’t without conditions though.
More than 80 development consent conditions were attached to the approval.
The application proposes the building of an 850-room accommodation facility that will include dining and recreational facilities, a multi-purpose hall, amenities, 639 car park spaces and bus bays.
Under the approval the village will be built in stages according to demand.
The majority of the conditions have been placed to ensure the development complies with the statutory requirements placed on Narrabri Shire Council as a result of the development.
Many are also standard for any kind of building or construction development.
One of the conditions is that construction work of the facility involving electric or pneumatic tools, or other noisy operations, is restricted to between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday; and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and public holidays. Other conditions relate to construction, roads and water.
Northern JRPP chair Garry West said the approval had been quite seamless.
“It was very straight forward,” he said.
“The panel has reviewed the development application and agrees that the proposed development meets the objectives of all applicable environmental planning instruments and other relevant planning legislation.”
He said the only significant change was a clause that allows council to suggest to MAC more parking is needed to be included if it became an obvious necessity during construction.
Mr West said the fact there was demand for the service had contributed to the approval.
“Narrabri Shire Council had done a lot of work that suggested the development could be supported and was beneficial, and with the growth of mining in the region there is an obvious demand for this kind of facility,” he said.
“The expansion of mining operations in the district, and an increase in the workforce attached to the mines, has led to a shortage of available accommodation. This proposal will assist to ease pressure on accommodation supply in the area.”
The development application has been referred to the regional panel because the capital investment value of the proposed development exceeds $20 million.
The MAC company operates a similar accommodation facility at Narrabri and has approval to build another at Werris Creek, pending a decision by the Land and Environment Court.
It is understood MAC identified the need for a village in Boggabri because of its proximity to three existing mines – Idemitsu (Boggabri Coal) Turrawonga Coal and the underground operations of Narrabri Coal – and a fourth mine slated for development in early 2013 at Maules Creek, owned by Whitehaven Coal.
Construction work for the facility will be carried out in five segments and the “hotel” will be built as demand arises.
The panel also met in Tamworth yesterday morning to discuss proposed changes to the development application for the new Coles Supermarket and Southgate Shopping Centre redevelopment.