Anger over Wanneroo mushroom farm approval

Anger over Wanneroo mushroom farm approval

WANNEROO residents are angry an amended development application has been approved for a mushroom farm.

ABN Group subsidiary Crown Wanneroo applied to recommence operations at the Belgrade Road farm early last year, after it stopped when Crown Mushrooms went into administration in 2014.

The application was rejected by Wanneroo Council in March, so the group appealed to the State Administrative Tribunal and after mediation, sought instead to amend the existing planning approval.

Rowe Group planning manager Aaron Lohman presented a deputation prior to the August 16 council meeting on behalf of the applicant, requesting the condition relating to composting was removed, as compost would be bought in rather than prepared on site.

Several residents questioned impacts of the approval, with Tony Ioppolo citing concerns about the 500m buffer zone surrounding the farm, which he said was unnecessary if composting was not occurring on site.

“(I) did not provide any consent to my land nor did my neighbours consent to their land being used as a buffer zone,” he said.

“It’s not acceptable to wait for the buffer zone to be extinguished as urban deferment approaches.”

Councillors went behind closed doors, where they passed an amended motion to approve the application without the first condition and requesting Mayor Tracey Roberts write to the WA Planning Commission to seek removal of the buffer.

Conditions placed on the farm included that compost be delivered in sealed containers and surplus removed from the site within 48 hours and operating hours restricted to 7am to 7pm weekdays, 7am to 3pm Saturday and 8am to 3pm Sunday and public holidays.

Belgrade Road resident Kate Coughlan said there “was real anger” about the decision, with residents concerned about traffic from delivery and removal of the compost.

“That means loads of trucks coming in and out of that property,” she said.

“Given all of the complaints we’ve had previously, I can’t see why (the council) would buy into it.”

She said they had experienced “two years of absolute bliss” while the farm was non-operational and were worried that previous issues regarding smell and traffic would return.

“Those problems will start again and the traffic one will be worse,” she said.

“We feel like we’ve been overlooked.”

Neighbour John Hastie said though the decision may have been legally right, it was “morally incorrect”.

“The potential for smell is still there, it hasn’t gone away,” he said.

He called the request for removal of the buffer zone a “step in the right direction” but was sceptical whether it would occur.

At the same meeting, councillors approved a retrospective building application at Lion Mushrooms in Mariginiup, after previously refusing it on February 2 and the State Administrative Tribunal sending it back for reconsideration.

The buildings approved were three patios, a car port and a back-up cool room not used for growing mushrooms.