Howlong Compost Facility decision close

August 23, 2017

Howlong residents have been on tenterhooks over a proposed compost facility in the town but it appears a decision on the development application should be made this week.

It has been more than two months since the Joint Regional Planning Panel first deferred a decision on the compost facility after a hearing on June 15.
Members of the panel, which included former Corowa Shire Councillor Bill Bott, met again just last week in a closed session with Cleanaway, representatives from Federation Council and the Howlong Community Committee (HCC).
There was wide speculation that a decision was going to be made at the meeting, but this did not happen.
Federation Council, HCC and Cleanaway were all given time to present additional information in separate meetings.
A Department of Planning spokesperson said following the meeting: “due to time constraints, the panel was not able to make a determination of the proposed composting facility at Howlong”.
“The panel will confer next week (this Thursday or Friday) and come to a decision, which will then be published on the Planning Panels website.”
Air quality, odour, traffic and the location of the facility were all factors being considered by the planning panel.
Chairman of the HCC Stuart Sizer said the committee was hoping the decision would be made this week but had no indication further than that.
“I know they meet on Thursdays, but I am not sure if the panel will meet in person or if it will be a phone hook-up,” he told the Free Press on Monday.
“The only thing that would delay it further would be that if when the panel sit down to discuss it in detail, there are some issues that they bring up and they want further information.
“They were sort of leaving after the last meeting, saying they had that much information that it was hard to get their head around.
“There’s certainly been a lot of information, and even things have changed since the (June 15) hearing because where the waste is going to now is not where it is proposed to go.
“I don’t know where that (waste) is going and that’s part of the development application and we posed the question: ‘does that change the whole development application?’
“We asked the question and we didn’t get a response and so we are not sure.”
Mr Sizer said although a decision was dragging on, it was important the panel did not rush its decision.

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