Poultry farm in wings

The Southern Downs Regional Council says a new poultry farm in the Bony Mountain district north-west of Warwick will “support an increase in the productive capacity of the land and will contribute positively to the local economy”.

The application by Darwalla Milling was approved in late August but the company is understood to be challenging a number of the conditions council officers included as part of the approval.

Under the council’s current planning rules poultry farms of less than 400,000 birds are classed as ‘code assessable’, meaning such applications are not required to be publicly advertised and adjoining neighbours and the wider community do not have the ability either to make formal submissions for or against such proposals, nor do they have the right of legal challenge against an approval.

A council spokeswoman said the application “was approved on 21 August 2020 for an intensive animal industry (poultry farm – 180,000 birds) and caretaker’s accommodation (two buildings) at Donovans Road, Bony Mountain”.

“The property is situated approximately 30 kilometres north-west of Warwick,” the spokeswoman said.

“Under the current Planning Scheme, proposed poultry farms within the rural zone are code assessable, where the application is –

• for less than 400,000 birds

• the use is located at least 200 metres from lot boundaries

• and the use is located at least one kilometre from land in a Township, Residential and Rural residential zones.

“The proposed development complied with each of these requirements and was therefore code assessable, thus not requiring public notification.

“The primary purpose of the poultry farm is to accommodate breeder birds for production of fertilised eggs.

“The fertilised eggs will be supplied to an off-site hatchery.

“The development will employ a total of 14 staff including two farm managers.

“The development would support an increase in the productive capacity of the land and will contribute positively to the local economy in production, operational and employment terms.

“It is the further diversification of the poultry industry stream and products already provided by Darwalla Milling Co. Pty Ltd in the Southern Downs region.

“It is noted that Council is currently in the process of considering change representations on conditions and/or matters forming part of the Decision Notice.”

Comment is being sought on the ‘change representations’ from Darwalla, which also operates a chicken hatchery just east of Allora, along with further details of the potential timeframe for commencement of the project.