BCG’s Brikmakers has achieved a win in the state’s Administrative Tribunal this week, after it overruled the refusal of the company's proposed clay extraction operation in Upper Swan.
BGC Australia subsidiary Brikmakers has achieved a win in the state’s Administrative Tribunal this week, after it overruled the refusal of the company's proposed clay extraction operation in Upper Swan.
Last year, the City of Swan refused a development application lodged by Brikmakers for a clay extraction operation across two lots with a combined area of 51.6 hectares on Great Northern Highway in Bullsbrook.
The application proposed the excavation of up to 150,000 tonnes of clay at the site over a decade, with the excavated areas to be filled with construction and demolition waste or clean fill.
According to the application, the operation would have generated up to 200 truck movements a day for three days of each month. While the site location is predominantly rural, there are 13 dwellings within 1,000 metres of the operation area.
In justifying its decision to reject the proposal, the city argued that insufficient information had been provided on the impact of noise and dust on the surrounding area and that the nature of the operation made it inconsistent with the local planning scheme.
Brikmakers later appealed the decision with the state’s Administrative Tribunal, prompting a site visit and a three-day hearing in August and September 2020.
Eleven experts were called to give evidence during the hearing, including surrounding residents, acoustic engineers, town planners and air quality specialists.
Having long been identified as a viable resource extraction area at both a state and local government level, senior tribunal member Stephen Willey said he was inclined to approve the development.
In the tribunal transcript, Dr Willey said he was satisfied that there would not be adverse dust impacts or noise issues that would warrant the proposal’s refusal of the, but that he was somewhat torn by the fact that the land was now zoned “Landscape” under the local planning scheme; which focuses on protecting the landscape’s qualities.
He said he was satisfied that there would be some visual amenity impacts, including trucks and machinery as well as the ongoing presence of bunds, contrary to the objectives for the zone.
But in taking into account that resource extraction was not a permanent use of land and that the site would eventually be restored, Dr Willey conceded that the long term objectives of the zone would likely still be met.
Dr Willey set aside the decision and approved the proposal, imposing a suite of conditions to ensure the operations were appropriately screened, that dust at the site was managed and that the operations remain at the intensity approved.
Under the conditions, the company is also required to remediate and rehabilitate the site at the end of its operations.