You may recall the in June last year, Council refused a planning application for expansion to the servo at the corner of West Tamar Highway and Bridgenorth Road. The details are in my blog.
The developers appealed the decision and after nearly 12 months the Resource Management and Planning Tribunal has handed down its’ decision and have dismissed the appeal in other words, they have refused the development. It was an expensive exercise but it is important to remind everybody that the West Tamar Council will, if necessary, make hard decisions and back them up legally.
The grounds for the refusal can be read at:
The main argument was the intensification – basically, if you have a development in a place where it shouldn’t be then you can expand it. There were physical increases -canopy size from 132m2 to 799m2 as well as increased opening times and most significantly an 83% increase in customer volume.
Personally, my biggest concern was traffic volumes and the intersection with Bridgenorth Road. If you have ever tried to leave the servo, heading to Launceston on a busy wet evening you would realise how dangerous it is.
I would like to see a roundabout here, that would solve the above problem (vehicles would exit onto Bridgenorth Road, then onto the roundabout) it would also solve the current issue whereby vehicles take the rat-run through Kavala St and down to the Acropolis drive roundabout to avoid the sometime slow and dangerous Bridgenorth Road intersection.
Eventually the Highway there will be a 4 lane separated highway which will mean that the servo can only get customers who are travelling North – so surely a roundabout would be essential at that stage – but hopefully we can get one before then.
I attended two community meetings at Deviot last week on the Deviot Landslide issue. This project is being run by West Tamar Council and there’s a steering committee comprising:
Both meetings were well attended – over 50 residents plus council staff – including council GM and chief engineer. Andrew gave an outline of the process and Derek went to some detail on the geology of the area of what could be the causes. He invited any residents with landslip issues – as well as people who had long term knowledge of the area to contact him so he could visit their properties and gain a greater insights.
Derek is camping at the Deviot Hall so it is convenient to have such access to a qualified expert. As Andrew said – “landslip – the ignored natural disaster”. We know so much about bushfire and floods – but those disasters still happen. Our knowledge of landslip is lacking – especially in the community – but even the experts are learning. Whereas we all know how to prepare our house for a bushfire we’re not so knowledgeable about preparing out house to best mitigate landslides.
It’s also apparent that many areas of the valley have similar problems. There is a map showing landslide hazard bands readily available the “The List” website and it shows areas of high risk in many locations.
One of the object of Derek’s report – which will be released at the end of September is to determine the causes, effects and impacts and from that information we can mitigate the problem. Alex, a geologist from Switzerland recounting a cheering story from Verbier where they had serious geological issues that were affecting the values of property – but once the problem was understood and measures put in place to mitigate the effect then confidence returned to the area and it has thrived.
Its apparent to me that we can’t change nature – and when we change the land we can have unwanted consequences. Many year ago, there would have been a few shacks and a gravel road – probably not a big impact on the land and the locals that built were very familiar with their land. Along comes a bitumen road and large houses, maybe cut into the profile. Waste water systems handing much greater volumes than ever, wholesale tree clearance and large impervious areas with inadequate drainage. Everything you shouldn’t do in a landslip area!
There are many things that can be done to help the situation and Andrew has guides on sympathetic design for landslip areas. Derek’s reports will highlight things that need to done – I’m pretty sure road drainage is going to get a mention but there may be other short term solutions that can help.
Andrew has stated that this report will not fit on his shelf and the problems will not be pushed aside so I’m confident things can only get better.
Please feel free to contact me if you need any information.
I attended the FOGO facility at the Launceston Remount Road today. A cool 2 degrees. The visit was organised by the Northern Waste Management Group.
The process: The waste is first sorted (manually!) to remove any contaminants. Currently it’s very low as most people do the right thing and don’t put the wrong items in the bin – under 1% - if that number increases it can become unviable and then the whole lot ends up in landfill – so follow the rules! The most common contaminant is the small plastic tubs that plants come it.
"most people do the right thing and don’t put the wrong items in the bin".
It’s then stacked up and the pile is covered in mulch. Under the piles are a series of pipes that introduce air into the piles via a fan that blows for 3 seconds every 30 seconds – this creates aerobic composting.
The temperature and oxygen content of the piles is monitored – once the material has been at over 55 degrees for 3 days then all the nasties will have been terminated such as pathogens and seeds.
The piles are moved over a period weeks until a very usable compost emerges from the final pile. This is finally screened ( a large sieve) to remove any items that have not broken down.