UNELECTED bureaucrats are on the verge of approving a concrete batching plant, over the objections of the elected Bayswater city council and hundreds of local residents.
In June 2011 the council rejected the proposal for Collier Road after receiving 400 protest letters concerned about noise, truck traffic and pollution.
Ransberg wants three 19m silos and 16 storage bins on a site that is close to homes, on the fringe of the city’s light industrial zone.
Cr Barry McKenna says the public response was the biggest he’d seen for a single issue. The council has already received complaints about dust pollution from a crushing plant at the corner of Collier Road and Jackson Street.
The council has since spent $100,000 on legal fees, fighting the applicants’ appeal to the powerful but unelected state administrative tribunal.
In November 2011 the SAT indicated the plant could be approved if technical information regarding “wet batch” concerete production and air quality was provided.
The SAT has since ordered the council to prepare by May 10 a list of draft planning guidelines for the plant to operate under, in the event approval is granted.
Former councillor Sally Palmer—who spearheaded the campaign to stop the plant—says the plant poses a health risk, despite the changes sought by the SAT. “The plant would be located over the fence from Joan Rycroft Reserve, where there is a playground and kids’ play soccer and cricket,” she says.
“Young children and dust don’t mix—I hope the SAT uphold council’s original rejection.”
Council staff say another $40,000 could go up in smoke on legal and consultancy fees if the council continues with its defence.
Bayswater mayor Terry Kenyon says his colleagues should follow their convictions when voting, look after their ratepayers’ interests and not worry too much about SAT appeals.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK