A SCRAP metal business which may be operating outside of approvals at East Deep Creek has applied to be made legal by Gympie Regional Council.
The change of use application, which is for metal recovery on the site (without a fragmentiser), is the latest step in a two year saga for applicants Greg and Jannett Corbet.
Originally running at Kilkivan, the recovery work was moved to its new base at Noosa Rd in 2014 after Gympie Regional Council found it to be in breach at the site.
Although the Noosa Rd business already has operations on it including a concrete batching plant, a transport depot and workshop, and a gardening and landscaping supplies outlet, questions were raised by the council over the legitimacy of metal recovery working at the back of the premises.
According to Plansmart director Mike Hartley, whose company has submitted the application, a maximum of 30 tonnes is handled on the site each day, with the metal entirely collected, brought to the site, sorted, and distributed by the operators.
Under the proposed change, the use of the land for the recovery work will be administered by the Department of Environment and Heritage.
No metal is processed, and the operations, which employ eight people, have been working on site for more than two years with no noise complaints.
Mr Hartley noted the Noosa Rd premises, which is surrounded by similarly zoned land, were "ideally located” for metal recovery.
The application is the latest step for the business in a long-running effort to expand work at the site.
Originally lodged in 2015, the Corbetts sought to have four areas of the site re-zoned from medium impact to high impact industry.
According to Mr Hartley, the intent was "to allow like-for-like high impact industries to establish at the location without the need to seek further development approvals each time a change in industry occurs”. The re-zoning would also include the metal recovery work.
Though council staff recommended refusal of the application at a December 2015 meeting, a decision was withheld until more information was provided.
It was again brought to councillors in May this year, and was once more recommended for refusal due to a lack of information.
However, at the applicants' request a decision was again withheld on the application.
The submission is open for comment until December 22.