Feature image - Bundaberg bioHub Project

The Challenge

Utilitas develops regional bioHubs that create energy, jobs and value from organic waste. It had successfully negotiated to purchase the former Bundaberg East Wastewater Treatment Plant with the view to creating an innovative centre for converting organic waste into energy. Bundaberg Regional Council provided facilitative advice about the project and the considerations involved in obtaining a development permit and the potential State referrals.

When viewed as a whole, the full site development was impact assessable and meant that there would have been a relatively expensive and time-consuming process requiring public notification. Even with the continued assistance of the Council, the time and costs of lodging an impact assessable development application would have had significant cashflow implications for Utilitas.

The Solution

InsiteSJC was able to divide the project into staging components to enable the first stages to proceed without needing a planning approval, i.e. as development that was 'accepted subject to requirements'. The planning team was able to clarify that the initial uses were industries that could proceed with only building approval. This would enable Utilitas to commence on the site as a combination of accepted development and partly use the site's existing use rights.

Instead of lodging a development application, InsiteSJC prepared a letter that set out a development strategy and explained why the Council need not require a development application in the first stages. Council promptly confirmed our advice in a written reply.

Utilitas would, therefore, be able to develop buildings and commence the use of the site much earlier than otherwise. Potential future tenants may require an impact assessable development application but that would be an obligation on those tenants once they become known and defined.
Back to Case Studies