Tamworth Regional Council organic waste recycling plant has approval deferred

DEFERRED: Concerns have been raised by the JRPP about council's organic recycling waste proposal. Photo: Gareth Gardner
DEFERRED: Concerns have been raised by the JRPP about council's organic recycling waste proposal. Photo: Gareth Gardner

PLANS for a $5 million organic waste recycling plant in West Tamworth have been stalled after a regional planning authority raised concerns over potential environmental impacts.

The Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) had a range of concerns with the project and deferred giving it the green light.

The impact of the proposal on “future plans for expansion of the Tamworth Regional Airport” was at the top of the JRPP’s list for deferring a decision on the matter.

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The panel also listed aircraft bird strikes, noise, flooding, bio-security and odour among its concerns with the proposal.

Tamworth Regional Council now has until February to provide the panel with more information to address the matters raised by the JRPP.

Council’s proposal is to build the plant on Duri-Wallamore Rd near the intersection of Old Winton Rd.

David Gowing, a nearby resident, spoke in opposition to the proposal in front of the planning panel and said he’s not sure council will be able to address the concerns raised.

“It’s not in a suitable place,” Mr Gowing said.

“I hope they get the answers to these concerns and realise it isn’t in the right place.”

Mayor Col Murray sees merit in establishing a new organic waste recycling plant in order to reduce costs and create more capacity at the current Forest Rd tip.

“We need to get that operation away from the existing landfill site,” Cr Murray said.

The mayor said the current situation was more expensive to manage.

In the proposal for the recycling plant, it was estimated the facility would process up to 32,000 tonnes of waste a year.

The plant would be able to process a range of material including food and garden scraps, timber and other solid and liquid waste.

The NSW environmental watchdog issued general terms of approval for the project, but identified odour as a major concern.

“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) will be requiring Tamworth Regional Council to implement and maintain, in consultation with a recognised odour control specialist, an air quality and odour management plan describing measures to minimise odour impacts associated with the operation,” the EPA’s terms of approval said.

The JRPP has requested council address the concerns by February 2018 with another public determination meeting to be held subsequently.

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