July 2, 2020


Ingham's denied approval to set up chicken feed mill in Perth, Australia



An Australian Supreme Court denied an approval for poultry producer Ingham's to set up a chicken feed mill in the north-east of Perth last month.


The proposed development would accommodate operations currently done at a poultry farm on Wanneroo Road in Sinagra, and Ingham's said it still planned to relocate off that site, which Stockland bought in 2017.


Supreme Court Justice Jeremy Allanson granted an application to quash development approval for the $24 million feed mill in Muchea, determined by the then-Mid-West/Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel (DAP) last August.


The proposed feed mill was going to be located on a Brand Highway property owned by White Toro Pty Ltd. However, investment company Harvis Capital lodged the Supreme Court application to overturn the panel's decision.


Harvis argued that the use was not permitted in the agricultural resource zone, and approving the development undermined the viability of its own Brand Highway landholding, Muchea Industrial Park.


It was concerned the approval would set a precedent that could encourage other developments on less expensive agricultural resource land, and make it harder to attract buyers to the industrial estate.


Justice Allanson handed down his judgement on June 11 that the feed mill operation was not a rural industry use and so, therefore, could not be approved in the agricultural resource zone. The proposed development was for a 24-hour feed mill to process grain and meal into pellets that would be sent to Ingham's customers, and for six large silos.


An Ingham's spokesman said the company's legal department was reviewing the court's decision. "The delays created by the court process have inevitably impacted on Ingham's plans (in Western Australia)," he said. "We are committed to our strong foundations in WA. Our plans to grow with our customers and continue to deliver high quality Ingham's chicken products are unchanged."


The spokesman added: "We are reviewing our plans, but our exit from Wanneroo remains on foot with work on our new hatchery underway."


The panel approved plans for a $20 million hatchery that could accommodate up to 1.5 million day-old chicks at Muckenburra in the Shire of Gingin last year and approved some minor amendments to those plans in April.


The Supreme Court decision was raised during a Metro Outer DAP meeting on June 18, with lawyers for Harvis arguing that another application for feed grain mill in the City of Swan should not be classed an rural industry use.


Planning documents lodged with the city of Wanneroo indicated Ingham's lease for the property was due to expire next December, with an option to extend it by 12 months.


- Perth Now