Northern Grampians Shire spike in planning permits

A SPIKE in the value of planning permits received by Northern Grampians Shire Council has signalled a growth in economic confidence.

Cr Tony Driscoll said the value of permit applications showed an increase in business confidence throughout the shire.

"From the shire's perspective there's a lot of confidence people are expressing, whether it be for a sub-division or major planning permits,'' he said.

The worth of major projects approved by council has risen since last year.

In 2014, there have been 12 permits issued worth $5.8 million, up from 23 permits in 2013 worth $2.7 million.

Northern Grampians planning and development services team leader Robert Newbury said the increase in major projects would be a boost for the construction industry.

"The increased value of projects in the shire adds to the general economic base of the region and high-value projects can lead to more jobs and more residents," he said.

"The projects themselves also create work in the area for trades such as builders, carpenters, electricians and plumbers as well as trade suppliers and professionals such as architects."

There are also a number of major permits under consideration including a $5-million planning permit for a tyre recycling plant in Stawell.

Mayor Kevin Erwin said the increase in the number of significant projects was exciting.

"I'm particularly pleased with the project for recycling tyres," he said.

"There's a pile of tyres that has been the bane of this council for quite some time and it's good to see that there is interest from a company that has a process to reuse these tyres. "

Stawell's tyre dump has an

estimated nine million tyres. If approved the project will recycle an estimated one million tyres a year.

"Stawell has been identified as one of 12 tyre dumps in Victoria which are significant so hopefully this project will recycle the whole pile over time," Cr Erwin said.

Mr Newbury said the tyre recycling project had the potential to create jobs in Stawell.

"It will see the creation of 30 to 40 new jobs plus a significant investment in the area and gives us a way to reduce the number of tyres in a way that is safe and means the tyres can be recycled and the components such as the oil, carbon, steel and gasses recovered," he said.

Stawell-based Frewstal abattoir has applied for a $2-million expansion project for a new processing room, two store rooms, truck wash, kill floor, waste pit, an extension to the existing loading bay and an offal room.

Cr Erwin said council would continue to try to smooth the application process to help economic development in the shire.

"Every planning department in local government cops flak for being complicated so we're trying to make it easier," he said.

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