CBH planned to spend at least $11 million installing four new bulkheads and upgrading its Hyden receival site before mothballing the project plans until early next year. Countryman can today reveal the scope of CBH’s planned upgrades to the Hyden, Brookton and Dale receival sites originally scheduled to be completed by harvest. CBH chief executive Jimmy Wilson shocked farmers in May when he announced the co-operative had put planned upgrades at three Wheatbelt sites on hold until next year. He declined to reveal how much the grain handler had planned to spend at those sites specifically, but the projects formed part of a planned $200 million spend at six bins. Upgrades to the Moora, Konnongorring and Watheroo receival sites started in April, but Mr Wilson said the other three upgrades had been postponed due to COVID-19. “Given the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, which followed the smaller harvest in 2019-20, CBH has reviewed the delivery of our 2020 network investment,” Mr Wilson said. “While we are in a good financial position, the virus continues to have a significant impact on the broader economy, including on our customers, suppliers and financial markets. “We needed to consider the uncertainty created by the virus on project delivery timelines, the safe and timely completion of the projects before harvest, and the complexity and scale of works for each project.” Planning documents lodged with the Mid West/Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel show the Hyden project was flagged to cost $11.4 million. CBH planned to build four open bulkheads totalling 148,000 tonnes of storage to boost the site’s 155,000 tonne storage capacity to 291,600 tonnes. To do so, it needed to reduce the size of two smaller bulkheads to make room for the four new ones and associated two hopper pits. The documents also revealed CBH bought a 12.86ha paddock to expand the southern end of the site, bringing the development area to 92,700sqm, just 1.5km west of town. CBH also planned to widen the truck marshalling area, create a sealed connecting internal road, build a pad for a generator and compressor, relocate an existing sample platform, replace a fence line, replace an existing storm water pipeline, and build storm water drainage around internal roads and bulkhead pads connected to a drainage basin. The panel approved the project with a raft of conditions, including the relocation of an underground water pipe connecting two Shire public dams and ensuring all stormwater generated by the CBH site would be captured in a drainage basin and redirected to the new underground water pipeline, before being redistributed to a private dam. The panel also determined CBH would have to “substantially commence” the project within two years, or by December 2021, or the approval would lapse. The project was referred to the panel because it was worth more than $10 million, which meant the Shire of Kondinin could not approve it. The panel approved the project on December 12. The other two projects, at Brookton and Dale, were approved by the Shire of Brookton and the Shire of Beverley respectively, meaning they were worth less than $10 million. CBH has declined to tell media or growers how much those projects were worth. Planning documents lodged with the Shire of Brookton revealed the complexity of CBH’s upgrade to the Brookton site, which involved closing a portion of Sewell Street and required the Shire to spend $15,000 turning a nearby road into a cul-de-sac, another into a pedestrian or cycle path, and installing safety signage. CBH planned to build four new open bulkheads with an overall capacity of 98,400 tonnes at Brookton, as well as a temporary and portable weighbridge, and an internal road network. The bulkheads would be filled with grain by portable drive-over-grid grain stackers and covered with tarpaulins once filled. The project required the closure of a “significant portion” of Sewell Street to nearly double the size of the 12ha Brookton site into a nearby, 10ha paddock and allow free-flowing movement between the existing and proposed CBH grain receival facilities. CBH’s plans drew ire from nearby residents who said they would find their residential area straddled by the two boundary fences of the site, with seven public submissions raising concerns about noise, grain dust and increased traffic movement. Separate documents, lodged with the council on March 19, revealed CBH’s plans to extend the walls of Brookton’s existing bulkheads from 1.2m to 1.8m this year. At Dale, CBH planned to install one new, 160m x 35m bulkhead, with 1.8m walls. To make room, CBH planned to shorten an existing bulkhead by 50m, extend a nearby bulkhead by 4.5m, and relocate an existing ground conveyor. It also planned to construct an internal road, an open bulkhead pad, replace the existing weighbridge and hut, and the existing sample platform and hut, and install a 36m long weighbridge.