The proposed development of the Inkpen Special Industry Park in the Shire of Northam has been dropped, due to the engineering costs of providing environmental safeguards imposed by the Environmental Protection Authority.
An engineering study based on the EPA requirements had indicated that the development of 10 lots at Inkpen, six kilometres south of Bakers Hill, would cost $23 million.
In a joint statement, Lands Minister George Cash and Northam Shire Council President Dave Antonio said LandCorp's decision not to proceed with Inkpen was a sensible one, based on the commercial non-viability of the project.
One of the approval conditions the EPA placed on the Inkpen development was the provision of evaporative ponds to contain the liquid effluent within the park's boundaries. The ponds would have covered about 120 hectares and cost $18 million to construct.
Mr Cash said conditions prevailing in 1989, when the Inkpen site was first proposed as a special industry park for the downstream processing of animal by-products, had changed.
"Industry demand for a site of this type has declined," he said.
"Due to more advanced environmentally friendly technology, the industries for which Inkpen was planned can now be accommodated at other sites."
Mr Antonio said the Northam Shire's attitude had always been that if Inkpen was not environmentally acceptable or economically viable, the council would not approve the development.
"While the project gained the EPA's conditional approval, the huge development costs make it a non-viable proposition and the issue has now been dropped," he said.
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