Toxic site would require environmental audit before rezoning could be considered

Currently the owner of 100-102 McBryde street has a planning application to erect two warehouses on the site. The problem is that this property was part of the NuFarm contaminated site.

The property has a clay cap to keep the contaminated and polluted soil in place. So any development that disturbs the clay cap carries a risk of spreading contaminated soil and toxic fumes from the chemicals still in the soil.

The owner had put the property, very briefly, up for sale advertising that the site may be able to be rezoned for residential development. So what would it take to get the site zoned for residential use?

Moreland director of planning and economic development, Kristen Coster, makes clear that any rezoning for residential development would only happen after a statutory environment audit of the site.

The last statutory environment audit ocurred in 1995 which declared that the site was only fit for light industrial use, with stringent conditions for any development on the site to take place.

Report from Moreland Leader, Monday June 12, 2017

No housing on toxic factory land until audit clears the way

MORELAND Council has confirmed a toxic site in Fawkner could only be rezoned residential if it passes an environmental audit.

In May, the Moreland Leader reported that the site of the former Nufarm Factory at 100-102 McBryde St was listed for sale as residential land on a real estate website.

The site is in an industrial zone, with a planning permit pending council approval for the construction of two warehouses.

The land is listed as category three under the council’s Moreland Industrial Land Strategy 2015-2030, meaning it has been identified as appropriate for rezoning to residential, but only after a comprehensive audit takes place.

The last audit on the site was completed in 1995, which led to a clay cap established on top of the toxic soil to keep chemicals from escaping.

“The environmental audit undertaken at that time only involved remediation to a level that would enable light industrial, rather than residential use,” said Moreland director of planning and economic development Kristen Coster.

“A further audit would therefore be required to determine whether residential use was appropriate for the land.”

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