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D-day for Allora grain storage facility

Ron and Rosemary Gwynne, Helen and Geoff Pitstock, Kelvin Brooks, John and Ding Atkinson and Pat Attard are strongly against the proposal to change this area of land to an industrial area. Photo: Erin Smith / Warwick Daily News
Ron and Rosemary Gwynne, Helen and Geoff Pitstock, Kelvin Brooks, John and Ding Atkinson and Pat Attard are strongly against the proposal to change this area of land to an industrial area. Photo: Erin Smith / Warwick Daily News Erin Smith

ALLORA residents and the developer of a 30.72ha grain storage facility in Allora will find out if the project will be given thumbs up by the Southern Downs Regional Council tomorrow - more than 12 months after a development application was lodged.

The facility, to be located along the Warwick-Allora Rd, would feature four 350m bunker storage areas each capable of storing 35,000 tones of grain.

Developer Chris Hood plans to bring the grain into the site via the Hendon to Allora railway - which has not been used in years - store it on site, load it into shipping containers and truck it to the port.

Tomorrow will not be the first time councillors have been asked to make a decision on the project.

In May this year they decided to defer their decision pending the results of a noise impact and air quality assessment.

Six months later the reports have been completed- each finding the operation complied with all noise and air quality standards.

They were not simple tests either.

The noise impact assessment involved working out what noise the machinery on the site would create and how loud it would be at each of the nearby houses.

And despite the nearest home being just 400m from the development's boundary, the test found the noise from the site would not be five decibels above the normal background noise.

Therefore it ticked all the boxes.

However the company in charge of the noise impact assessment, CRG Acoustical Consultants, did suggest a 3.6m high and a 110m long acoustic barrier be erected between the facility and the boundary of the next property to minimise the noise even further.

Also on the list of conditions is that no alarm bells or paging systems be used and that on-site vehicles avoid impact with solid objects.

The air quality test found the dust created by the development would not have an unacceptable impact on nearby residents.

Happy with the results of the testing, council officers have once again recommended the project to the council for approval.

At the May meeting, councillors were so concerned that the noise and air quality tests had not been completed, no debate was held about the 102 submission received on the proposal.

Only three of the submissions were in favour the development.

Noise and dust being were just two of the 30 concerns.

Other issues included operating hours, devaluation of homes, lack of community benefit, loss of town character, traffic issues and vermin infestation.

If the council does give the development a thumbs up there will be almost 50 conditions put in place, all aiming to reduce the impact on nearby residents and the community.

They include buffer zones, changing the operating hours from 24 hours to 7am-6pm, how high containers can be stacked and covering all the containers to reduce the spread of dust.

Grab a copy of Thursday's Daily News to find out how the council votes.

To share your thoughts on the development, phone reporter Erin Smith on 4660 1364.

Topics:  allora grain sdrc