The council will consider its first planning policy on extractive industries at its meeting tonight, with a report recommending a 42-day public consultation policy.
The report said the City currently had no policy to guide assessment of extractive industry applications, although there are almost 4000ha of limestone and sand resources identified in its boundaries, with the majority in Nowergup and Neerabup, and others in Carabooda, Yanchep, Gnangara, Wangara and Darch.
At last week’s council briefing, planning director Len Kosova said the policy would give the council a basis to justify decisions on applications, particularly if applicants appealed those decisions through the State Administrative Tribunal.
‘We would have a substantially stronger case to defend council’s position,’ he said.
Mr Kosova said the policy would also require advertising of every application for public comment.
Asked about buffer zones by Cr Sabine Winton, who declared an interest because she lives in Nowergup, Mr Kosova said creating buffer zones around existing houses would ‘substantially diminish the extractive areas’, particularly in Nowergup and Carabooda.
‘This becomes a less defensible position to argue with SAT,’ he said.
‘We are effectively deleting or undermining the priority resource area ” the consequence of that would be a smaller extraction area in the area that’s specifically set aside for that purpose.’
If adopted by the council tonight, the policy would be advertised for public comment.
Mr Kosova said the City’s environmental advisory committee would receive a report of submissions and any changes to the draft policy, then it would be presented to the council again.