Proposed Free Range Poultry Farm Alteration

Proposed Free Range Poultry Farm Alteration
Munbinea Road Hill River
Location: Lot 25 Munbinea Road
Applicant: AAA Egg Co Pty Ltd
File Ref: Development Services Apps / Development Applications / 2014 / 79
Disclosure of Interest: None
Date: 19 January 2015
Author:Manager Planning
Senior Officer
Signature of Senior Officer:
free range poultry farm dandaragan
The proponent is seeking planning approval for a free range poultry farm located on Lot 25 Munbinea Road, Hill River.
The applicant originally applied for a Free Range Poultry Farm at Lot 4 Mimegarra Road. It was found that this site was potentially subject to inundation and for this reason the application was not proceeded with through the JDAP. This new proposal at Munbinea Road is for a lesser sized development, as such it is not a mandatory JDAP application and can be determined by the Council.
A presentation on the proposal was presented to Councillors at the Council Forum held on 27 November 2014 by Mr Peter Bell from AAA Eggs.
Councillors and Staff visited an operational AAA Free Range Poultry Farm at Muchea on 5 December 2014. Staff met onsite with the Department of Water to discuss issues on the 14 January 2015.
Council met with Dr David Cook, Forensic Entomologist, University of Western Australia at the Council Forum held on 22 January 2015 to discuss the risk of stable fly from the proposed new poultry farm. Dr Cook advised that the risk of stable fly breeding at the property is low if good management and monitoring is in place.
The property comprises of approximately 657 acres or 265.8 hectares and is situated on the corner of Munbinea Road (1,614 metre frontage) and Eragilga Road (1,461 metre frontage). The property runs north from Eragilga Road along Munbinea Road, to west with north facing slope gently falling towards the northern boundary.
The site has been largely cleared of the original vegetation and there is an area of pine plantation in the northwest corner, which also houses the only buildings, a shearing shed, toilet block and utility shed. The slopes on the property range from two to sixteen percent. The land slopes downwards from Munbinea road to the east and then uphill to the East, with the lowest point being approximately 250 metres East of Munbinea Rd. The land also slopes gently to the North, and is part of the Hill River catchment.
The proposal consists of:
·       8 egg laying sheds approximately 132m x 19.7m and height of 5m
·       2 pullet rearing sheds approximately 75m x 12m
·       8 silos approximately 8m high
·       Managers residence
·       Office, Four Donga Workers accommodation and recreational facilities
·       Coolroom/workshop
The objective for ‘Rural’ zoned land in Local Planning Scheme No.7 is:
Rural Zone
To provide for a range of rural activities such as broadacre and diversified farming so as to retain the rural character and amenity of the locality, in such a way as to prevent land degradation and further loss of biodiversity.
A free range poultry farm fits under the land use “animal husbandry – intensive” Under the Scheme this is defined as; “animal husbandry – intensive” means premises used for keeping, rearing or fattening of pigs, poultry (for either egg or meat production), rabbits (for either meat or fur production) and other livestock in feedlots.
Agriculture Intensive, Agroforestry, and Animal HusbandryIntensive are “D” uses (discretionary approval) in a Public Drinking Water Supply Area where Council will have due regard to the potential impact on groundwater quality. The proposed development is not within a public drinking water source reserve.
5.22.2 Groundwater Areas
Groundwater protection areas have been established by the Water and Rivers Commission (now DEC) known as the Jurien Groundwater Area and Gingin Groundwater Area.
Landowners and developers are required to obtain a licence prior to the construction of a bore or well on any property for groundwater extraction except for stock or domestic purposes.
The Department of Regulation, Department of Parks and Wildlife (both the previous DEC) and Department of Water have been consulted on this application. The Department of Water have provided detailed information as well as discussions with Shire staff onsite as detailed in the attached schedule of submissions.
This resulted in an amendment to the siting of the proposal within the subject property.
The Shire and WAPC have adopted the Local Planning Strategy – Rural Land Use and Settlement 2012 (the Rural Strategy) which provides guidance to Council in assessing this type of application.
The following considerations are taken directly from the Rural Strategy and comments provided on each consideration.
Local Planning Strategy – Rural Land Use and Settlement
Appendix 2 intensive agriculture planning considerations when assessing a planning application for intensive agriculture
When Council is considering an application for either Agriculture – Intensive, Agroforestry, Animal Husbandry Intensive and Aquaculture it will take into account the following matters.
Strategic Considerations
Council will assess the potential impact of the Application and subsequent development to ensure:
Services and infrastructure are adequate, including the road to be used to transport produce and to access the property, power, water and other requirements or can be adequately upgraded which would be the responsibility of the applicant.
Munbinea Road is a sealed road and provides good access to the site. Western Power have been consulted and advised that there is sufficient power available to the site.
There is no wider potential for land use conflict from things such as spray drift or smoke between existing and proposed use.
There will be no impact.
It will have no adverse impact on catchment management and ground and surface water.

The Department of Water have assessed the proposal and met onsite with the proponent. Details of their requirements are in the attached submissions.
It will not sterilise land with potential for urban expansion or other long term land needs.
There is unlikely to be any urban expansion in the vicinity.
Local Considerations
Council will assess proposals for intensive agriculture on the ability of the subject land to accommodate the proposed use, and with due consideration of the risk of off-site environmental impacts and conflict with neighbouring land uses. Factors to be addressed by the proponent and subsequently considered by Council include: the nature and capability of the land;
Advice from the Department of Water is: 
As shown in Figure 7 of the proponents Land Capability Assessment (Bioscience 2014) there is a drainage channel area from the western boundary in a north-westerly direction to the northern Boundary of Lot 25. This drainage channel area is likely to carry surface flow during storm events, mostly as sheet flow. It cannot be assumed that surface flow in this location will be of no consequence. The topography poses the risks of inundation, damage to the sheds and other infrastructure, and degradation of water quality. The current proposed location of the sheds is therefore not supported by the DoW.
It is suggested that the central portion of the lot is a more suitable location for the sheds, with the layout in a north-to-south orientation. It is recommended that a site visit occur with the proponent, and officers from the Department of Water and the Shire of Dandaragan, to determine an appropriate setback from the drainage channel area and the low-lying land in the western portion of Lot 25.
Following a site meeting with Council staff and the Dept of Water, the applicant has submitted an amended plan showing the proposed sheds in the central portion of the property. The amended plan was supported by the Dept of Water.
Availability and adequacy of water supply:
The applicant has advised that:
Initial advice from the Department of Water is that there will be sufficient quality and quantity of bore water to service the industry.
Sensitivity of adjacent land uses:
There are no sensitive adjoining land uses. However in late December 2014 the neighbour submitted a building licence application for a dwelling in proximity to the poultry farm. At this stage a building licence fee has not been paid and as such it is not formally recognised as a bona fide application. The applicant is aware of the proposed poultry farm and may be awaiting the outcome of the planning application.
Remnant vegetation and wetland protection requirements:
The proposed site has been cleared.
Crop rotation and/or specific land management requirements:
The applicant has advised that they will crop rotate the remainder of the site and that they will plant screening vegetation that will assist in reducing any nutrient flows to the Hill River area.
Any particular infrastructure layout or transport access requirements:
There is a current Western Power easement and power lines that traverse the property. The applicant has been made aware of Western Power requirements.
The requirement for permission to use ground and surface water:
The applicant is liaising with the Department of Water to satisfy this requirement.
 Demonstrate the existing pre-development hydrological regime will be maintained or enhanced where possible:
According to the Department of Environmental Protection the property is not on the 100 year flood plain.
The separation distances and/or buffers with the adjacent uses which are potentially incompatible can be contained on the subject land rather than being a constraint on adjacent land:
There are no existing dwellings within 1000 m of the site.
Table 7 – From the Shire’s Local Rural Planning Strategy:
DEC recommended buffer distances between Rural Industries and Residential areas and State Planning Policy 4.3.
– Poultry industry 500 metres
The Department of Food and Agriculture (DAFWA) have advised that there is a required minimum distance of 1000m required between any other poultry farm sheds. Nil
The proposed development will also be able to comply with the 1000m setback requirement from any sensitive land use stipulated under the EPA Guidance Statement No. 3 – Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors – Separation Distances between Industrial and Sensitive Land Uses for poultry farms.
The application complies with both the local Rural Strategy as well as State Policy for buffer distances from residences and other poultry farms.
The development impacts can be managed on site:
The applicant has advised that:
We will be retaining as much of the existing vegetation as possible and each shed will have a shelter belt of native trees and grass planted on the sides of the sheds
The development should not significantly detract from any scenic landscape and/or conservation attributes identified in the locality:
The land use will have no adverse impact on the safety, health and amenity of residents in existing dwellings and it will not sterilize land with potential for urban expansion or other long term land needs such as mining; and Given the separation distances from existing dwellings and the very unlikely development of urban land within 500m of the proposal, there is no adverse impacts on nearby residents. The only potential issue may be stable fly, however the applicant has provided a management plan that deals adequately with this issue.
Other matters which may be required to be addressed if requested by Council.
The Department of Water has advised:
In addition, the proposed use of manure to fertilise pasture on Lot 25 will need to be carefully regulated to ensure a low risk of nutrients contaminating groundwater and surface flow. Manure application rates should be based on site-specific conditions, such as the soil PRI (Phosphorus Retention Index), and the crop requirements. In addition, the irrigation of pasture with nutrientrich wastewater in this location is not supported by the DoW, given the location within the Hill River Catchment.
The Department have also provided suggested conditions of approval which have been included in the officer recommendation.
It is the Officer’s view that if the site is well managed, there will be minimal impact to neighbouring properties and the environment and is therefore supported with conditions.
·       Department of Planning
·        Environmental Protection Authority
·       Department of Agriculture and Food (Geraldton)
·       Department of Environment Regulation
·       Department of Parks and Wildlife (Jurien Bay and Geraldton)
·       Department of Regional Development
·       Department of Lands
·       Department of Health
·       Department of Water (Perth and Geraldton)
·       Department of Fire and Emergency Services
·       Water Corporation
·       Western Power
·       Surrounding land owners
·       Shire officers
·       Local Planning Scheme No 7.
·       Local Planning Strategy – Rural Land Use and Rural Settlement.
·       SPP 2.5 Land Use Planning in Rural Areas.
·       SPP 4.3 – Poultry Farms.
·       Environmental Code of Practice for Poultry Farms in Western Australia.
·       There are no local policy implications relevant to this item.
The applicant has paid a sum of $13,617
·       Shire of Dandaragan Local Planning Strategy – Rural Land Use and Rural Settlement.
Circulated with the agenda are the following items relevant to this report:
·       Amended Site Plan (Doc Id: 46480)
·       Elevations (Doc Id: 46479)
·       Land Capability Assessment (Doc Id: 46477)
·       Management Plan (Doc Id: 46478)
·       Schedule of Submissions (Doc Id: 46489)
 (Marked 9.4.6)
Simple majority
That Council grant planning approval for a proposed Free range Poultry Farm on Lot 25 Munbinea Road, Hill River to AAA Egg Co. subject to the following conditions of approval:
1. The land use and development shall be undertaken in accordance with the approved and stamped plans, including the approved Environmental Management Plan.
2. This Approval is for an Animal Husbandry – Intensive (Free Range Poultry Farm) only.
3. The use and development must be substantially commenced within 3 years of the date of this approval.
4. Poultry shed design and management, management of stock feed, water, waste products and all other aspects of poultry farm operation are to comply with the management guidelines set out in the Environmental Code of Practice for Poultry Farms in Western Australia (May 2004) (The Code).
5. The maximum number of laying hens shall be 300,000.
6. Crossovers, access and egress to the subject site from Munbinea Road and any road works shall be located and constructed to the satisfaction of the Executive Manager Infrastructure and include all necessary drainage and signage. Costs applicable to the construction of the access point/s onto the site and any related issues shall be borne by the proponent.
7. All internal roadway surfaces within the site are to be constructed of a suitable material such as paving, road base, limestone or course gravel and compacted to limit dust generation, to the satisfaction of the Shire’s Chief Executive Officer.
8. Notices indicating the type of operation, hours of operation and potential impacts of the poultry farm operation are to be displayed adjacent to the Munbinea Road frontage of the site in accordance with the specifications contained in Statement of Planning Policy No 4.3 Poultry Farms Policy to the satisfaction of the Shire’s Chief Executive Officer. The notices must state that development approval for the construction of the Development on the site has been granted.
9. The use and development must be conducted so that it has minimum impact on the amenity of the area by reason of:
·       Transportation of materials, goods and commodities to and from the premises;
·       Appearance of any buildings, works and materials; and
·       The emission of noise, vibration, dust, wastewater, waste products or reflected light.
10. Applicant is to carry out each of the elements of the Environmental Management Plan including the audit protocol set out within the Environmental Management Plan.
11. Applicant is to undertake regular (Monthly) monitoring for Stable Fly by an independent expert both pre development and post development. Monthly results of monitoring to be provided to the Shire’s Manager Environmental Health.
Note 1: Further to this approval, the Applicant may be required to submit working drawings and specifications to comply with the requirements of the Building Act 2011 and the Health Act 1911 which are to be approved by the Shire’s Manager Building Services and/or Manager Environmental Health prior to issuing a Building Licence.
Note 2: The Department of Health advises that any form of pest control using pesticides must comply with the Health (Pesticides) Regulations 2011.
Note 3: It is advised that the proposal should at all times comply with the Biosecurity & Agriculture (Stable Fly) Management Plan 2013 in order to minimize the effects of stable flies on the community.
Note 4: It is advised that the proposal should at all times comply with the provisions of the Food Act 2008 and related regulations, codes and guidelines and in particular the Primary Production Standard in relation to Egg production.

Department of Water Advice Notes:

To be in accord with the Code, with regard to minimising risks to water resources, the proponent should be required to demonstrate the following (Notes 5 – 11):

Note 5: Separation depth to groundwater for new free range sheds should be a minimum 3 metres above the maximum recorded groundwater level.
Note 6: An appropriate buffer width from wetlands, waterways and floodways. 200m is the recommended buffer (Table 1, p15 of Code).
Note 7: Stormwater management methods which include adequate retention area for contaminated stormwater and wash-down water, in line with the DoW’s Water quality protection note 39 Ponds for stabilising organic matter, and the Stormwater Management Manual for Western Australia (2004+).
Note 8: A buffer distance of 50m between new sheds and water supply bores (measured 20m from perimeter of sheds).
Note 9: Drinking water supply bores located minimum 100m from wastewater disposal sites and preferably ‘upstream’.
Note 10: Appropriate storage of fuel and chemicals in bunded compounds, and an emergency response plan to address any accidental spillage of fuel or other potential contaminants.
Note 11: In addition, the proposed use of manure to fertilise pasture on Lot 25 will need to be carefully regulated to ensure a low risk of nutrients contaminating groundwater and surface flow. Manure application rates should be based on site-specific conditions, such as the soil PRI (Phosphorus Retention Index), and the crop requirements. In addition, the irrigation of pasture with nutrient-rich wastewater in this location is not supported by the DoW, given the  location within the Hill River Catchment.
Mining Advice Notes:

Note 12: Tronox request that the proximity of valuable mineral resources and future mining activities be accounted for in the assessment of this development and communicated to the proponent. If approved, the development must be undertaken with the knowledge of being located adjacent to future mining and mineral haulage activities, and the associated interactions that will arise.