A massive horticulture project west of Toowoomba has been approved.
A massive horticulture project west of Toowoomba has been approved. Jasmine Burke

Massive horticulture project for 500 jobs approved

A MASSIVE intensive horticulture project that would employ up to 500 people west of Toowoomba has received full endorsement from the Toowoomba Regional Council.

Councillors voted unanimously for a new 42-hectare glasshouse project by major Toowoomba company FKG Group at a special meeting yesterday.

FKG Group submitted the plans for the project back in September, with property development manager Dallas Hunter describing it as the future of agriculture.

TRC planner Geoff Broadbent recommended the approval at the meeting, explaining that any issues relating to stormwater, road infrastructure and environmental impacts had been mitigated through design changes and conditions.

"The proposed development has been assessed against the relevant statutory town planning framework and is considered to achieve compliance with all relevant parts of this framework, including the applicable codes of the planning scheme," he wrote in his report.

Along with supplying more than 500 on-site car parks to cater for the maximum required workers, the development won't use reticulated water but rather use an on-site detention basin combined with a private connection.

The project, built over four stages, would feature six glasshouses, packing area and other ancillary spaces.

Cr Mike Williams raised questions about glare from the glasshouses and whether it could impact on planes at the nearby Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.

However, Mr Broadbent said officers found it would not be an issue.

Mr Hunter said he was pleased with the result outside the meeting.

"It's an important project for our precinct, and we thank the council for their consideration," he said.

"We've got a fair bit of work to do, like detailed designs and client negotiations."

FKG Group's power plant in council: FKG Group's Dallas Hunter speak to council about the company's new solar-gas power plant.