A concrete manufacturing centre at Somersby will be able to operate 24/7 for two years once it has built sound barriers.
The business can apply for the extended hours of operation to become permanent within three months of the two years’ expiring.
The Local Planning Panel added a raft of conditions when it gave consent to Reinforced Concrete Pipes Australia (RCPA) at 149 Somersby Rd, Somersby to operate 24 hours a day.
RCPA manufactures and stores steel reinforced concrete pipes and associated concrete products used for stormwater drains and wants the extra hours to meet market demand.
The company said the proposal would generate a need for an additional 18 – 20 full-time and part-time staff offering shift work opportunities.
“The increased production capacity would, in turn, have a multiplier effect on employment opportunities external to the business operation such as transport contractors, local material suppliers and maintenance contractors,” the report to the planning panel said.
“The Panel acknowledges the concerns raised by the public submissions concerning operational noise impacts of the proposal, hence the on-going environmental performance of the proposal should be monitored and a time limited consent of 2 years should be imposed,” the panel wrote in its decision.
The application to extend beyond the two years will have to include a peer-reviewed report from a qualified acoustic engineer which reviews the site’s compliance with the noise conditions of the Environment Protection Authority Licence and the conditions of consent.
Three residents spoke at the meeting on June 23 outlining their noise complaints with the operation as it currently stands and their concerns at the longer hours.
The panel said the proposal was consistent with the zoning of the land and said it could operate in a satisfactory manner subject to the imposition of conditions.
These included limiting the areas that could be used between 10pm and 7am; and outlining the types of operations that were not allowed during those hours such as loading cement from trucks into silos and deliveries to the site of sand, gravel and cement.
The extended hours cannot start until an occupation certificate for new acoustic barriers are issued for the site.
The panel issued details for all the barriers. For example, on the western side of the factory where the front-end-loader and cement trucks work the barriers will be a minimum of 7m above ground level, and a flexible acoustic screen has to be provided around a batching area; and fork lift reverse alarms have to be replaced with broadband reverse alarms.
Prior to the issue of any Construction Certificate an Operational Management Plan has to be submitted to Council for approval.
The plan has to include the management practices to minimise potential noise impacts from the night-time operation and an additional storage area to the north.
The proposal will see the formalisation of a second vehicle entry to the site and about 56,000m3 of fill brought in to provide additional hard stand storage area. It will be covered with cement stabilised road base.