The Northern Regional Planning Panel chair Penny Holloway heard 38 people speak for or against the development application for the Bentley Quarry expansion at an online meeting today, Wednesday, December 7.
The meeting went for almost three hours.
Then the panel deliberated for almost another hour.
When the panel returned to the screen, Ms Holloway announced that the quarry expansion DA was considered to be in the public interest and the DA was approved.
“The approval comes with some stringent conditions,” Ms Holloway said.
This included the strengthening of the driver code of conduct for quarry trucks entering and leaving the Bentley Rd site.
“Trucks cannot operate in school pickup times,” she said.
The quarry owner must consult with bus operators to find out the best time for trucks to pause road use – for an hour at the start and end of each school day.
This concession was to address the concerns of some residents in the meeting who thought the road would be dangerous with quarry trucks and buses using it at busy times.
Another condition is that Bentley Quarry set up a community consultation committee that would meet twice a year.
Edie Lloyd was at the meeting and she said the community consultation throughout the process had been “woeful”.
Ms Holloway said the quarry is a permissible land use for the Bentley area and is compatible with land use in that zone.
Many residents spoke at the meeting about how the noise from blasting and the dust from the quarry would impact agritourism and impact the appeal of the scenic rail trail.