Turkey Farm hassle free 

THE proponent of a $2 million Turkey Farm on Gurrundah Rd says it won’t have any negative impacts on either environment or the local community.

If approved, the development will see the construction of six sheds, each approximately 150m by 15m and with the capacity to house a maximum of 12,000 birds.

Residents have raised concerns about its density and an increased number of trucks on the road.

Consultancy firm Elevate Planning and Design has put together the application and director Louise Wakefield said the facility would have the capacity raise up to 200,000 birds a year. However, those figures were based on best case scenarios and maximum capacities. She said the reality would be slightly less.

“The birds will arrive in batches of day old chicks and grow out at the facility until they are collected between week 17 and week 19, depending on their size,” she explained.

“So each cycle is about 20-21 weeks which allows about two weeks between cycles for clean out of the sheds and compliance with biosecurity requirements.

“Therefore the development is based on about 2.5 cycles per year.”

The site is owned by Sydney builder and part time local grazier Eddie Webhe, who says his business will not only create employment but will comply with all necessary environmental legislation.

Despite being inside the Sydney Water Catchment Area, he said the design would ensure no waste would enter the river. He was confident authorities would give it the tick of approval.

“We have been working on this for close to two years now. We haven’t tried to rush it and we want to make it the most beneficial facility that we can, not just for ourselves, but for everybody else as well,” he said.

“I’m a very passionate person, whether I am building houses or farming beef cattle or growing pasture or planting trees. We look for the best management practices and the most efficient ways to do things.

That’s just the way I am… and it should show through with our planning.”

Council’s development control manager Richard Davies told the Post his department was still assessing the development and hadn’t drafted a recommendation yet.

Consequently, it was unlikely the matter would go before a meeting until early next year.

He confirmed Council had received a number of submissions but was unable to discuss their nature.

When asked, Mr Webhe said he had been contacted by a number of nearby property owners who were concerned about the development’s impact on the local road network.

 He said the traffic impact statement, which was put on public display, contained an error, which stated there would be an extra 362 vehicles travelling on the Gurrundah Rd per cycle, meaning there would be more than 2000 extra movements per year.

The correct figure was an extra 325 vehicles per year, which included personal use for him and his family, Mr Webhe told the Post.

He conceded there would be an increase in trucks visiting the site in the last two to three weeks of each cycle, between 11pm and 6am, but said there would be strict contractual obligations on drivers to ease the impact on the local community. These included driving at a reduced speed and not engine breaking until they were on the highway.

“We don’t want to make enemies,” he said.

“We are moving to a community, we want to live in that community and we don’t want everybody to hate us, we want everybody to like us, because that’s just the way we are.

“So, I’m striving to build a state of the art, modern facility that is going to blend in with the environment, create employment and enable me to run my property… “Given the climate in this area, the often lack of rain, it gives us just a little bit of security against drought too.”

Mr Webhe has owned the Gurrundah Rd property and tended to it for five years.

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