The proposal for the Jupiter Wind Farm in New South Wales has been referred to the independent Planning Assessment Commission, following the assessment of the Department of Planning and Environment that it should be refused.
Mike Young, Director of Resource and Energy Assessments, said the Department thoroughly assessed EPYC’s application to build a wind farm with 54 turbines near Tarago, including extensive community consultation.
“We considered the application on its merits, paying particular attention to the local context and community,” Mr Young said.
“We acknowledge that the company amended the plans and removed 34 wind turbines in response to community feedback. However, our assessment has found that the site and surrounds are fundamentally unsuitable for a large-scale wind farm.”
Mr Young added the wind farm proposal would have unacceptable visual impacts on almost half of the 110 homes located near the project.
“The proposal is inconsistent with local planning controls, which classify a third of the proposed site as an environmental management zone,” Mr Young said.
“The Department received 400 objections from the local community and interest groups during the exhibition period. Queanbeyan-Palerang and Goulburn Mulwaree Councils are also strongly opposed to the development of the wind farm.
“Representatives from the Department inspected the site and surrounds, met with numerous landowners and locals, held a public information session for the community, and attended several Community Consultative Committee meetings to gain a better understanding of the key issues.”
The independent Planning Assessment Commission will hold a public meeting in the local area and review the Department’s assessment before making its final decision.
The Department also commissioned an independent expert to provide advice about the potential visual impacts of the project on the landscape and residents living near the wind farm.