Council to vote on chook farm
A CONTROVERSIAL plan for a meat chicken farm at Elbow Valley will go to the final vote at tomorrow's general meeting of the Southern Downs Regional Council.
Council officers have recommended a part approval of a proposal by the New South Wales based Carr Farming Trust for an operation capable of growing out nearly 3 million birds at full capacity.
The original plan was to build 48 growing sheds on five massive concrete pads on the former Leitch Pastoral Group site of Condamine River Meats off Cullendore Rd.
But following objections from surrounding landowners and assessment of scientific reports by council, council planning staff deemed the facility to not fully comply with planning rules and have recommended approval of 28 sheds.
Also going to the vote are no less than 183 conditions on the site, including odour and noise management and heavy vehicle movements, some of the main issues raised in landowner objections.
The vote will follow a visit yesterday by councillors to a working meat chicken farm at Mount Walker, near Warrill View east of the range, organised by Carr Farming Trust spokesman Brad Carr.
Mr Carr yesterday said he would await the outcome of tomorrow's vote and would carefully examine the conditions finally approved by councillors.
"It's hard to say which way they will vote, but the councillors have certainly taken a good look at our plans," Mr Carr said.
"If there are any conditions which we decide we need to see amended then I would be hopeful of doing this through negotiation with the council."
Broiler farms bring in day-old chicks from hatcheries and grow the meat chickens out over eight weeks before processing, with some birds taken out earlier to meet demand for smaller chickens.
A separate application for a broiler farm on the former Danpork site at Pratten by Sam Fessey is likely to go on public display within the next few weeks.
Mr Fessey plans to build a 13-shed facility which at full operation could grow out 676,000 birds at a time.