Four 50,000 bird poultry sheds proposed

Aerial view of the siteAerial view of the site

An application has been received by Central Coast Council for a designated and integrated poultry farm at 1411 Peats Ridge Rd, Peats Ridge.

The estimated cost of work for the project is $1.75 million. The proposed development is defined in its application as “intensive livestock agriculture” and requires a specified permit under the Water Management Act 2000. The subject site is already used to grow avocados and citrus by Olivetree Grove Pty Ltd, which will also operate the additional poultry sheds. The sheds will grow meat birds for human consumption in four, tunnel-ventilated, fully enclosed, climate controlled poultry sheds. Each shed will hold 50,000 birds, to give a maximum annual farm population of 1 million birds, over 5.2 production cycles per annum, allowing for a 4-5 per cent bird mortality rate per batch.

The Environmental Impact Statement submitted with the application, including specific reports on noise, traffic, odour and bushfire risk, concluded that Central Coast Council should support the proposal. Tunnel fans will expel air to the north and east of the sheds, and stirrer fans will be located inside the sheds. Eleven properties were included in an acoustic assessment submitted with the DA. The main noise generating activities include operation of the tunnel and stirrer fans, feed delivery operations and bird pickup operations. The nearest residential dwelling is located approximately 750 metres from the closest proposed shed.

“Given the close proximity of the most affected premises and the setting of the site, the potential for noise impacts has been carefully evaluated,” the acoustic report said. “This noise impact assessment finds that predicted noise levels will be below the criteria set out in accordance with the NSW Industrial Noise Policy, at all residential receivers and time periods,” the acoustic report concluded. The bushfire risk was also assessed to be minimal. According to the EIS: “Development of an additional and legitimate intensive form of agricultural production upon the site is not anticipated to pose any significant or long term adverse impact to the local environment or surrounding populace, and is deemed consistent with the intent of the zone for agricultural production.

“The predicted odour concentrations will meet the adopted assessment criteria at all privately owned surrounding residences, as addressed in the detailed Air Quality Assessment.” In terms of dust and particulate matter, the EIS found: “The predicted cumulative ground level impacts for PM10 and TSP 24 hour and annual averaging periods are predicted to comply with the relevant criteria. “Compliance is achieved without the need for specific and purpose built or generated mitigative strategies or site controls. Given the controlled environment in which the development will operate, it is considered to pose a low risk to local water resources and no detectable impact is expected. “The poultry industry, within the Central Coast region, plays an ever increasing role in the expansion of local agribusiness.

“It is widely appreciated that the poultry industry has a good strategic fit and high recognition factor within the area. “The Development will employ a total of two full time employees, one of which lives on site (Farm Manager) and an additional family member (Assistant Manager) who lives elsewhere in the local area, along with several casual farm hands, as required. In addition to this, the development of the poultry farm assists with the ongoing employment of those service related industries associated with poultry production. “The contribution, therefore, of the new poultry farm is greater than those directly employed on farm.

“The new poultry farm is yet to be contracted under long-term agreements with nominated poultry processors, however it is anticipated that Baiada Chickens are the preferred processor.” A letter of intent between Baiada and the owners accompanied the application. “Intensive Livestock Agriculture is permitted with development consent on the land.” The property is not currently connected to mains water supply. “The water demand for the development is estimated at approximately 14ML per annum, which allows for the poultry drinking water, cool cell pads and shed wash down. “In order to service the water demands for the development, the owners will rely upon the availability of licensed waters under WAL 17486 (27 megalitres per annum), being more than sufficient to service both existing and proposed land uses.

“The development will also include rainwater tanks as part of the stormwater quality treatment train. In terms of potential impacts upon groundwater sources: “We submit that the 300 mmthick compacted (engineered) clay floor possesses very low hydraulic conductivity (effective permeability).” Dead birds will be collected from the poultry sheds on a daily basis and stored in an onsite Biobin. “A Biobin is an on-site, capture and containment system used for organic material processing (starting the composting process) in an odour-free, easily accessible vessel.

Source: DA55491/2018, Nov 6 Gosford DA Tracker, Central Coast Council