A South West council has rejected plans to expand the capacity of the region’s largest tip ahead of a final decision expected in April. Cleanaway has been asking for approval to expand the Banksia Road Waste Management Facility in Crooked Brook, but the Shire of Dardanup voted 6-3 to refuse support on Wednesday night amid community concerns. The company has proposed building three new waste cells at the facility to replace some of the nine existing cells set to reach their end of life in the next few years. A move was made to request additional conditions if the council supported the development, which could have required Cleanaway to set up a community reference group within 12 months. Cr Mark Hutchinson described the facility as “a very contentious subject”. “It’s coming our way and we have got no support from each side of government, but my main concern is about accountability,” he said. “I believe we have to involve the community.” Speaking against providing support, deputy shire president Ellen Lilly described litter being blown from the facility across nearby farmland by easterly winds in recent weeks. “Litter is only one of the emissions on this site and we will continue to get emissions on this site, because the site is not suitable for that style of landfill,” she said. “Whilst the argument may say it’s a landfill precinct, it’s been approved and it’s got a licence, the site cannot mitigate the emissions. “The reason why they can’t control them is because of the shape of the land. It’s getting steeper, it’s getting bolder, it’s getting less protected by our environment and so it’s going to become more difficult to mitigate.” Shire president Tyrrell Gardiner noted the council’s decision was a recommendation to the Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel, which consists of two councillors and three panel members. “Effectively we are part of the decision, but we don’t get to make the decision,” he said. Cr Gardiner, Cr Hutchinson and Cr Jack Manoni were in the minority on the final vote. It is the second time it has been knocked back by the council in two years, after the delay in getting an Environmental Protection Authority assessment meant both the shire and the Regional JDAP were asked to reconsider the development. The revised proposal would see cells at the site reach a maximum height of 130m above sea level — a 20m decrease on what was rejected by the shire in May 2022.