Community residents in Lithgow, New South Wales celebrated this week after the Blue Mountains City Council rejected a development plan that would have seen a disused quarry near Bell in New South Wales filled in with building waste that has been accumulating after 15 years of construction in the greater Sydney area.

The Blue Mountains City Council received 470 letters from residents in the area in opposition to the repurposing of the disused quarry that has served as a static water source for aerial firefighters, most recently during the devastating 2019/2020 fire season that saw a great deal of damage to the Blue Mountains area.

The proposal for use from an unnamed developer stated that if successful, the disused quarry would be filled with thousands of tonnes of industrial waste, drying up the water source with as many as 74 truck movements through the area per day, further clogging the already busy small road network in the area.

The Western Region Planning Council in rejecting the development of the area stated that the development would not have been in the best interest of the public due to an unacceptable risk impact on the world heritage listed Blue Mountains area.

The quarry will now remain an aerial firefighting water source and nature reserve for local residents.