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Bullsbrook residents oppose a Chittering Rd landfill proposal. Picture: ANITA McINNES

Residents: Development process unfair

RESIDENTS against a proposed Chittering Rd landfill operation can have their say at a Bullsbrook Residents and Ratepayers Association meeting on Monday, May 28.

The City of Swan will decide on the proposal at its June 6 meeting – Echo News understands officers will recommend councillors approve the development application.

The association said the meeting was the last chance for residents to have their say about the proposal.

Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw, City of Swan councillors and officers and traffic consultants are expected to attend the meeting.

Meanwhile residents have asked the Legislative Council to investigate how state developmental approval processes can force communities to engage in lengthy and inappropriate battles against proposals which have already been resoundingly rejected at local government level.

The request was in a petition supported by 1162 signatures, which East Metropolitan MLC Alanna Clohesy presented in Parliament on Thursday, May 17.

The petition also asked for the Legislative Council to call on the  Planning, Environment and Local Government ministers to support the Bullsbrook community to ensure development in their community was appropriate and did not impact negatively on their safety, environment and amenity. 

The residents, who also have the support of Ms Shaw and Moore MLA Shane Love, called on the state government to make sure the proposed landfill operations at Lot 12 Chittering Rd and Lot 1 Jenkins Rd Bullsbrook did not go ahead.

They said the 160 daily truck movements and the dust and noise and landfill operations associated with using an old clay pit for landfill would have many unacceptable negative impacts.

These impacts included safety on Chittering Rd, the school, the environment and the enjoyment of amenity on the properties on the route, including those on Hoad St and homes within the buffer zone of the proposed landfill operations. 

The petitioners said the proposed operation would affect the safety and popularity of the Chittering Valley Tourist Way – Route 359, which was regularly used by cyclists, motorcyclists and hikers, as well as interstate and overseas visitors. 

They said community and local government had demonstrated their opposition to the proposal. 

But state government processes had not recognised or responded to the wishes of the community and they had been forced to continue to oppose the development before the State Administrative Tribunal through mediation on three occasions during an 18-month period. 

The protracted nature and cost of the process borne by the local government and community was unjust and unacceptable. 

They believed the process was unfair and favoured developers and businesses over communities. 

The development application for Lot 12 Chittering Rd, which the applicants said was to restore an old pit by filling it with construction and demolition waste, was first refused by the city under delegated authority in September 2016 as it was considered to be an industrial activity.

The applicant went to SAT and after mediation presented a revised application, which was considered as a site remediation application.

An officer’s report said when the proposal was advertised residents raised concerns about amenity and road safety – in particular around the school and the Bullsbrook town centre.

Concerns were also raised about sightlines along Chittering Rd.

The report said city staff were satisfied environmental impacts were capable of being addressed through management plan requirements that could be included as conditions of any planning approval.

At an August 30 meeting last year councillors rejected the proposal as they considered the sightlines to be inadequate for trucks entering and leaving Chittering Rd.

They also said truck movements from the development through the town site could potentially reduce pedestrian safety.

The residents association meeting to be held at the Ethel Warren Community Centre, Maroubra Ave, Bullsbrook will start at 7.30pm.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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