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Planning amendment to progress Eaglehawk Landfill buffer on public exhibition

Media release

A proposed planning amendment (C242gben) to progress the Eaglehawk Landfill buffer project is now on public exhibition.

The proposed amendment has been prepared to implement recommendations from an environmental audit conducted in accordance with Section 53V of the Environment Protection Act 1970. 

The audit was carried out in response to Environment Protection Authority (EPA) guidelines Best Practice Environmental Management – Siting, design, protection, operation and rehabilitation of landfills 2015.  

The guidelines require local governments to carefully consider any potential offsite environmental impacts of a landfill before approving new uses or development within a landfill buffer area. 

Eaglehawk Landfill is unusual as its over 40 years old and is one of the few landfills in Victoria located in an urban area with established residential, commercial, and industrial land uses within proximity. The buffer area for Eaglehawk landfill is 500 metres.

City Director Strategy and Growth Steve Hamilton said the City commissioned the environmental audit which considered the impact of the landfill on neighbouring properties within the 500 metre buffer.

“Rather than require landowners to provide an environmental audit for their individual property as part of a planning permit application, which can be extremely costly, complex and time-consuming, the City decided to undertake the work for the whole buffer area,” Mr Hamilton said.

“An EPA accredited auditor was engaged to review technical assessments and consider any potential impacts of gas migration, odour, dust and noise from the landfill and transfer station activities on the immediate surroundings.”

The audit found that the landfill is actively managed under strict licence conditions, including the management of waste to reduce odour, regular gas monitoring and extraction and dust suppressant measures.

The other findings were:

  • The risk of landfill gas migration is low, can be managed through building techniques, and regular monitoring of gas at the landfill
  • There is a risk of odour in some areas close to the landfill
  • Dust and noise are not causing significant risks to properties within the buffer area

To minimise any potential impacts from the landfill, the audit recommended planning controls within 500 metres of the landfill site to manage any potential risk of landfill gas migration and within 250 metres of the transfer station to manage any off-site odour impacts. 

Once closed, the City is required to manage the rehabilitation of the landfill, including continued monitoring of the site, as decomposition can generate landfill gas for more than 30 years after a landfill stops accepting new waste.

Planning Scheme Amendment C242gben proposes the following: 

  • Rezone residential land within 500 metres from the landfill site boundary from General Residential Zone to Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ)
  • Buffer Area Overlay Schedule 1 (BAO1) contains requirements to address potential risks posed by landfill gas migration for properties located within 500 metres of the landfill site boundary. A planning permit would be required if the owner wishes to subdivide the land, construct a building structure that is enclosed, activities that involve ground disturbance, or if they plan to conduct works, including demolition of a building
  • Buffer Area Overlay 2 Schedule 2 (BAO2) contains restrictions to limit sensitive uses within 250 metres of the transfer station activities due to the potential for odour impacts. It limits residential development on these sites to a single dwelling, and prohibits the use of the land for other sensitive uses

“Letters have been mailed to affected landowners, businesses and residents to explain the proposed changes to the Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme and how it affects individual properties within the 500 metres of the landfill and transfer station boundary. 

“If you need more information or have an enquiry, please get in touch with City staff involved in the project as they can talk through what the proposed changes mean specifically to your property and what planning controls are proposed for future land development,” Mr Hamilton said.

Public exhibition will be open until Friday July 14, 2023. Any submissions to the proposed amendment must be made in writing with contact details and an address. 

For further information, please contact [email protected] or 1300 002 642 to arrange a time to discuss, either over the phone or in person with the City’s Strategic Planning staff.


 

Locations:
Greater Bendigo