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Concerns raised about proposed Springbrook flour mill

Dust, noise, traffic and flying safety among concerns raised

Red Deer Regional Airport says its approval should be required before a proposed Springbrook flour mill can go ahead.

Red Deer County planners are recommending that a height restriction relaxation for P&H's (Parrish and Heimbecker, Limited) proposed $200 million flour mill southeast of the airport be granted if it meets 29 conditions. The Ontario-based company is seeking a 27-metre relaxation to allow the construction of a 45-metre (149-foot) flour bin.

One local aviation business owner has already expressed concern that locating such a high structure near one of the airport's runways could pose a safety risk.

Among the 29 conditions recommended by planners is that P&H pay for an airport review and analysis to determine if the flour mill will have an impact on airport operations. P&H would be required to have the airport's sign-off before the county issues a development permit.

The airport and county also want P&H to provide a staging plan showing expected crane operations and how much horizontal and vertical height they will take up. Those two recommendations resulted from feedback from the airport.

A number of other safety measures are also recommended, including the completion of a risk assessment to the standards set by the Major Industrial Accidents Council of Canada. As well, NAV CANADA must approve a land use application and an Aeronautical Assessment Form approved by Transport Canada.

A letter from Anson Chappell, acting site manager for the Red Deer control tower, says the county has begun the land use application process with NAV CANADA.

"A development of this height at the proposed location could pose a significant impact to operations and should be co-ordinated with NAV CANADA," he says.

The county asked for feedback from local businesses and residents and a number of concerns were raised. Fears were raised that the huge flour bin would be a local eyesore and create noise, dust and traffic, both road and rail, issues.

One of the conditions states that the "approved use shall not create a nuisance nor adversely affect the amenities of the district."

The flour mill would be about 500 metres from the closest home to the north in Springbrook and about 400 metres to the closest residence in a trailer park to the east. That is further away from homes than at several other P&H mills, says the county. In Lethbridge the closest home is 50 metres away, 402 metres in Hamilton, Ont. and 131 metres in Saskatoon, Sask.

The county's municipal planning commission will debate the height restriction application at its Tuesday meeting.



Paul Cowley

About the Author: Paul Cowley

Paul grew up in Brampton, Ont. and began his journalism career in 1990 at the Alaska Highway News in Fort. St. John, B.C.
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