Plans by Boral to expand its Dunmore Lakes sand mining operation close to Minnamurra River have been slammed by Shellharbour City Council, which says the proposal would pose too great a risk of significant environmental damage.
And like Kiama Municipal Council a fortnight ago, Shellharbour insists the proposal should be treated as a new development, rather than just a modification of Boral's existing approval.
"Council's position is that the proposal, in its entirety, should be treated as a new development application, as the proposed works are considered to be substantially different than the original approved development," Shellharbour's general manager Carey McIntyre wrote to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
But the submission also said that there "inadequate, insufficient and incomplete" information provided about "specific technical details of the proposal".
Boral wants to dig two new pits within a 38ha site of agricultural and bush land east of the Princes Hwy and south of Riverside Dr.
The proposal should be treated as a new development application, as the proposed works are considered to be substantially differentShellharbour City Council submission
It says the expansion is needed because the growing demand for sand in the Sydney construction market is outstripping Boral's production capacity.
Under the plan about 1.1 million tonnes of sand would be extracted from one pit dug to a depth of 27m, and 234,000 tonnes from the other, up to 12m deep.
The smaller pit would come to within about 100m of the Minnamurra River, concerning council about the potential impact on the popular waterway.
Council's submission said the impact on biodiversity and heritage was not sufficiently justified in the proponent's documents, while some of the biodiversity assessments had underestimated important features.
"The stability of the [river banks] during the dredging operation is a concern that is not considered in any of the supporting documentation provided," it said.
"Given the 27m depth and significant size of the proposed water body, council require supporting evidence indicating that adjacent areas will not be negatively impacted by slumping."