11/06/2021 - 14:30

Cedar Woods loses bid to contest brickworks approval

11/06/2021 - 14:30

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Property developer Cedar Woods has failed in its attempt to have a works approval at the brickworks adjacent to its Byford subdivision revoked.

Cedar Woods loses bid to contest brickworks approval
Austral Bricks received approval to build and operate an additional four car capacity batch dryer and drying room for bricks at its Cardup clay extraction site. Photo: David Henry

Property developer Cedar Woods has failed in its attempt to have a works approval at the brickworks adjacent to its Byford subdivision revoked, with the Environment Minister dismissing its appeal this week.

In July, Austral Bricks received approval to build and operate an additional four car capacity batch dryer and drying room for bricks at its Cardup clay extraction site, which has operated on the southern extremity of Byford for more than a century.

But Cedar Woods Properties, which owns the Byford on the Scarp subdivision north of the brickworks’ boundary, lodged an appeal against the conditions on the approval, questioning the adequacy of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (DWER) risk assessment.

In its submission, Cedar Woods raised concerns about emissions of particulate matter and acid gases from the new dryer and their impact on nearby residents, as well as the absense of air modelling data and consultation with stakeholders. Cedar Woods called on Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson to review the validity of the approval and consider whether it should be revoked.

But the Appeals Convenor concluded that DWER had adequately assessed emissions and the conditions enforced would sufficiently manage the risks and potential impacts.

In a determination published this week, the Minister noted Cedar Woods’ concerns, but said she had been advised that the particulate matter emissions were likely to be “negligible” and would not significantly alter the risk profile of the site.

Cedar Woods state manager Ben Rosser told Business News this afternoon that the company was disappointed with the outcome, but that it would continue to advocate for its residents.

“Cedar Woods used the appeal process to ensure the interests of its Byford on the Scarp residents were taken into account in relation to any modifications or decisions made regarding the Brickworks operation,” he said.

A spokesperson for Austral Bricks said the appeals process had worked as it should to enable queries and concerns to be considered and said the company would continue to work in accordance with all requirements to ensure it delivers the highest quality products in as efficient, reliable, and responsible way possible.

The news comes 18 months after Austral unveiled its $55 million factory expansion plan, a proposal which has raised the ire of community groups, which had pushed for a review by the EPA over concerns about the potential health effects.

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