Mushroom farm concerns growing


The site of the Belgrade Road mushroom farm.
The site of the Belgrade Road mushroom farm.

WANNEROO residents have raised concerns about the recommencement of a mushroom farm.

The Belgrade Road farm was previously owned by Crown Mushrooms, which went into administration in August 2014, and sold to ABN Group in December that year.

In January 2015, a subsidiary of ABN Group, Crown Wanneroo, applied for a development application for intensive agriculture on the site.

ABN Group’s long-term plan is to develop the site for residential purposes.

A City of Wanneroo report recommended the application be approved but impose a time limit on its operation as had been done for Lion Mushrooms in Mariginiup.

Five residents spoke during question time at last Tuesday’s council briefing session, all raising objections to the farm.

John Hastie questioned why it was considered a new planning application given it was recommencing and how odour and any non-compliance would be controlled.

“Concerned residents have enjoyed 12 months of clean, fresh air. In the interest of the majority of residents, I ask that it be rejected,” he said.

Other concerns included previous non-compliance, the impact on future rezoning of the area to urban deferred under the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) and the 500m buffer zone that exists around the farm.

Councillors also questioned the temporary approval and the effect on future development.

“Should we be approving something at this point in time, when we’ve already started a MRS amendment?” Cr Samantha Fenn said.

City planning implementation manager Pas Bracone said the recommendation considered the area was currently undergoing rezoning.

“This process will take several years,” he said.

“It is reasonable in the interim.”

He also said the buffer zone would not prevent development in the area and the current zoning allows use to continue “as long as it met previous conditions”.

The report said the application featured changes to the previous operations, including compost being delivered instead of created on site to reduce odour.

It recommended endorsement subject to eight conditions, including restrictions on compost use, operational hours and that approval expire within three years of the land itself or land adjacent to the 500m buffer made urban under the MRS or seven years of the application approval, whichever is later.

Councillors will vote on the application at tonight’s council meeting.