Farm fights rejected DA – Appeal/Court Action over 51-63 Harvest Rd

UPDATE  APRIL 10, 2013

We have learned that, at this point, the applicant has sought an adjournment of this matter until December 2013.  We believe they are hopeful that LCC’s new, long-awaited Planning Scheme will allow them to proceed with their plans for an intensive agriculture (igloo) setup less that 15 metres from the nearest neighbours’ home (who, incidentally, are in their 80s and have lived quietly here for over 30 years until this application was made).   It’s our hope that the many, many letters we have sent off to local and State Government departments, as well as the Queensland Ombudsman, may have influenced the Planning Scheme in a more sensible direction.  

Despite claims by farmers that they have an ‘as of right’ mandate to farm however they want, this is NOT what the State Government Guidelines say.  The guidelines state quite clearly that a buffer zone of 300 metres should apply across open land between intensive agriculture and homes, or a 40 metres buffer if a fence or vegetated barrier is provided.  We note that noone in Council seems interested in enforcing compliance with these guidelines – which were actually formulated in consultation with farmers’ groups in an effort to preempt this situation.  Because the Guidelines are not enshrined in legislation, they are being systematically ignored, despite the endless complaints from the poor residents who have been unfortunate enough to have one of these ‘farms’ set up next door to them.  This negatively affects their amenity by exposing them to agricultural chemical spray, fertilizer odour, early morning and late night tractor operations, uncontained runoff affecting neighbours driveways and access to their properties,  farm vehicles being driven with no lights or registration after dark on local roads, and a decrease in property values.  

Update on 51-63 Harvest Road’s  Appeal to the Planning and Environment Court  

November 1, 2012

We have just received word that the applicant intends to proceed with court action against Logan City Council over their refusal to grant a material change of use to turn this open farm into another intensive agriculture igloo farm.   Residents were very pleased that LCC had finally listened to residents – if they had allowed this farm to go ahead, we might as well kiss our lifestyle goodbye as more noxious, noisy, dusty, chemical-spraying operations spring up amongst our previously quiet bucolic acreage properties.  LCC will defend their decision. We can only hope common sense prevails.  The case is set for January 10, 2013 .

Funny how the cost was the reason given for burning off in Backwater Rd a few weeks ago, but the applicant has no trouble raising the cash to take Council and this whole community to court!  Again, we do wonder at the source of their money, as such legal action is an expensive business.  To us, this arrogance on the part of NON-RESIDENT farmers  is simply astonishing!  How DARE LCC make a decision based on the 58 objection letters from residents about these farms in our midst!  Given Council lackeys have recently taken to claiming these farms are ‘not commercial’, we ask the question again – how can they afford this?

Something really stinks here.

18 August 2012

This is an open farm, owned by the same people who run the igloo-style intensive agriculture farm across the road – the farm we suspect as the source of the chemicals that caused the most recent bird kill, which can be seen on video footage on this site.    The owners applied for a Material Change of Use to convert the open farm to an intensive agriculture farm.  Over 70 submissions were received, the vast majority (58, I believe) opposed to the application.  We have posted these submissions on this blog so that people can read the reasons why so many residents objected so strongly.  (See under ‘Pages’ at the top of the Homepage).

Logan City Council voted to reject the application.  The applicant’s response was to serve notice of legal proceedings on all who made submissions, and to take the Council to the Planning and Environment Court.  How dare Council make a decision (at long last!) based on the wishes of the people who live here!  Mediation between Council and the Farmers’ legal teams was to take place on August 30, 2012.  If agreement could not be reached, the matter was to proceed to court.

We are  watching carefully to see how strongly Council will defend its decision.  Despite a number of objectors’ submissions going ‘missing in action’, and some objections having to be resubmitted by residents to assist the legal team, we are confident that any reasonable judge will recognise the right of Council to act in accord with the resident’s well-founded concerns about inappropriate and potentially injurious developments so close to our homes.

September 4, 2012

Update on 51-63 Harvest Road’s Current Appeal to the Planning and Environment Court, as at September 4, 2012

David Hogan appeared as co-respondent on the residents’ behalf at the mediation held on August 30, 2012.  The two main issues the appellant had agreed to argue suddenly blew out to many more.  The Mediator therefore postponed the mediation;  further mediation sessions will take place in future, though no dates have yet been set. The Jimboomba Times report on this can be viewed in our ‘Local Media’ category, dated September 5, 2012.

Update, 22 Sept 2012

It appears that these ‘farmers’ (who have caused Logan City Council so much time and expense by appealing a fair and reasonable decision to listen to residents’ concerns and refuse their intensive agriculture application) have been dumped by their legal team for non-payment of their bills.  What a surprise!

Come On Logan City Council! Stop pandering to these non-resident bullies and start representing the residents who voted you in!  

We’ve had a gutful of the likes of Crs Pidgeon & Dalley bending over backwards to accommodate these people, who illegally erected structures to begin an industrial useage of residential land.  They have continued to spray noxious agricultural  chemicals near our homes, devalue our properties, and trash our lifestyles, seemingly secure in the knowledge that their ‘friends’ on Council would not enforce the State Government Guidelines to protect our health and safety.   Hopefully this feeling of ‘security’ is gone, as residents will continue to lobby both local and state governments to put a stop to this type of activity in our rural residential neighborhood.

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