The Department of Planning and Environment has refused to consent to the development application of the Rocky Hill Mine Project at Gloucester.
In a letter signed and dated today, (October 23), deputy secretary of Planning Services, Marcus Ray has put forth the DPE’s final environment assessment report and a draft instrument of refusal for the Planninng Assessment Commission (PAC).
The draft Notice of Refusal of Development Application states that the PAC acting as delegate of the Minister for Planning should refuse consent to the development application” from Gloucester Resources Limited.
The reasons for refusing the development application are listed as:
1. the site is not suitable for the project;
2. the project is too close to the town of Gloucester and would result in unacceptable risks of noise, blasting and air quality impacts for residents;
3. the project would have unacceptable visual impacts;
4. the project would have unacceptable social impacts;
5. for the above reasons, the project is not in the public interest.
In the final report, the department has not provided any recommended conditions of consent for the amended project.
The DPE has concluded in the report that in its view, the amended project is incompatibly located with respect to the southern fringes of the nearby urban area of Gloucester.
The department considers that the project site is not a suitable site for an open cut coal mine, due to:
• proposed land use conflicts with existing established land uses, in particular rural-residential and tourism land uses; and
• its incompatibility with the underlying aims and objectives of the strategic land use zonings of the Gloucester Local Environmental Plan to protect the scenic amenity of Gloucester township and the broader Gloucester Valley by retaining scenic and rural surroundings for the town.
The final decision about the Rocky Hill mine will be up to the Planning Assessment Commission.
All information about the DPE’s decision can be found at http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=5156 under “Document for PAC”.