FOUL CALLED: A chicken-growing operation proposed at Ridgewood has caused a fierce debate.
FOUL CALLED: A chicken-growing operation proposed at Ridgewood has caused a fierce debate. Gillian Van Niekerk

Chicken farm clips its wings

A PROPOSED chicken-growing operation at Ridgewood is to house 100,000 fewer birds at 230,000, and is to be built in two stages, starting with five sheds instead of eight.

Noosa Council has been provided with further information, including noise, traffic and odour concerns, about the Milligan family's application for the $10 million-plus operation to raise chickens at the Top Forestry Rd property for processor Ingham.

The Milligans' consultants told the council "the entire grow/batch cycle is limited to 63 days (nine weeks), whereby five to six cycles will occur each year".

Their report said: "During the initial growth stage of the cycle, there is a 30-day period where the maximum number of vehicles movements specifically associated with the poultry farm, does not exceed four vehicles per day.

"The maximum number of vehicle movements per day is forecasted to be 24-26 vehicles.

"From our discussions we understand that the collection of the live birds generally occurs in the early hours of the morning commencing typically from 2.30am, when the birds are calm, reducing bird stress and facilitating an easier collection process.

"We also understand that a single articulated vehicle arrives on-site at a time is loaded by the collection crew.

"We understand that this loading process takes in the order of 60 minutes per truck.

"Assuming each of the 10 to 11 trucks are loaded consecutively without delay between vehicles, the loading of birds is forecasted to occur over approximately 10 hours."

The report said "the proposal would have limited impacts on the local road network".

"It is on just five days throughout this growth cycle where heavy vehicle movements would be noticeable however it is also noted that the vast majority of these movements would not be concurrent with the peak road traffic activity," it said.

"It is reasonable to conclude on this basis that the development traffic is likely to result in little or no vehicle interaction along Top Forestry Rd.

"The traffic engineering report also outlines two options for minor mitigation works to Top Forestry Rd which the applicant would like to discuss with council, with a view to incorporating into an infrastructure agreement."

The applicant's noise report found "the proposed poultry farm can operate without causing unreasonable noise amenity impacts at the surrounding residences" and its odour report said there would be no unreasonable impacts on amenity.

Revised plan 'worse than previous'

NO BROILER Farm Cooroy campaign organiser Rod Ritchie has told opponents to Ridgewood's intensive farming application that a revised proposal was "worse for local residents than the previous proposal".

"It is oversized, would be a continual source of pollution for locals and tourists, and is totally inappropriate for Cooroy," he said.

Mr Ritchie said although there would be no stockpiling and composting of the poultry manure on site, removing the waste generated by the sheds would create truck movements on local roads "to unnamed destinations".

He said it had been seven months since the application was deferred by Sunshine Coast Council and "many of the big issues affecting Cooroy remain unaddressed".

These include the extra heavy traffic load on the meandering and scenic Cooroy-Belli Creek Rd and in the residential Maple, Crystal and Myall streets at Cooroy.

Mr Ritchie said these were "now likely to have to accommodate large trucks carrying toxic shed waste in addition to the live bird transports at early hours, B-doubles carrying feed, and other service traffic".

He said the traffic proposal did not include sealing of Top Forestry Rd for safety, road protection, or dust amelioration. The council is yet to consider the application.

"(The) council is engaging consultants to review the noise and air quality report. There also needs to be an independent traffic consultant engaged to check the radically revised traffic data and road usage," he said.

"As well, the community is being invited by Noosa Council to provide additional comments and submissions."

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