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Stony Gap consent: with conditions  

Author:  | Australia, Law

The Proposed Development

When the application was made to the Council, the proposed development included 41 wind turbines. Prior to the hearing, the proposal was amended to reduce the number of wind turbines to 35, which had the effect of enabling the wind turbines to be sited at least 2 kms from all dwellings which are not owned by an entity or person who has agreed to lease land to an entity related to Tru Energy, for the purposes of a wind farm.

The following project description was provided by Tru Energy:

The permanent components of the proposed wind farm forming part of this Development Application are:

1. Thirty five wind turbine generators installed on towers up to 85m high with a blade length of up to 56m and a maximum height of approximately 145m.

2. Crane pads located at the base of each turbine; each pad will be approximately 50m × 50m and be designed to suit on-site constraints.

3. Two permanent wind monitoring masts up to 100m high.

4. An on-site electrical substation (approximately 80m × 50m) and control room will be located in the southern part of the site.

5. A network of internal tracks (5-6m wide) linking turbines, and new or upgraded tracks to provide access to the ridgeline from Springbank Road and Old Adelaide Road. The total length of track will be approximately 30km of which approximately 8km will be upgrades of existing farm tracks.

6. A series of 33kV electrical cables linking turbines to the on-site substation. The total length of cabling is approximately 50km, of which 6.5km is potentially overhead cable. Final lengths and arrangements will be determined during detailed design.

7. Approximately 25km of single circuit 132kV or 275kV overhead transmission line on compact poles (typically 26m high) connecting the Stony Gap Wind Farm to the Robertstown substation.

8. Expansion of the existing Robertstown Substation to incorporate new infrastructure for connection of the incoming transmission line as required by the Transmission Network Service Provider (ElectraNet). …

Summary and Conclusion

We have assessed the proposed wind farm against the relevant provisions of the Development Plan, having regard to all of the evidence placed before us. The policies of the Development Plan are clear. There is no basis, on a planning assessment, upon which development plan consent could be refused. We will reverse the decision of the Council to refuse to grant development plan consent to the proposed development, and we will grant provisional development plan consent to the proposed development, subject to conditions. …

Conditions …

2. No turbine (measured from the centre of the tower foundation) is to be located within 2km of the existing dwellings …

13. Prior to the commencement of construction, a Construction Environment Management Plan shall be prepared, to the satisfaction of the Council, and shall include the following:

13.1 measures which will be undertaken to ensure that the foot print and construction of the Development avoids or minimises impact on:

13.1.1 the areas of habitat for the Pygmy Blue tongue lizard and the Flinders Worm lizard; and

13.1.2 the area of the Peppermint Box Grassy Woodland which qualifies as a threatened ecological community.

13.2 measures which will be undertaken to ensure that the impact on the degraded Peppermint Box Grassy Woodland located within the Development area is minimised;

13.3 measures which will be undertaken to ensure that impact on the potential habitat for the Flinders Worm lizard and the Pygmy Blue tongue lizard is minimised;

13.4 measures to ensure the Silver Daisy-bush is not unnecessarily damaged during the cabling of the Development;

13.5 areas of degraded Lomandra multiflor ssp.dura/Lomandra effuse open tussock grassland identified at page 101 of the “Stony Gap Wind Farm Development Application, Volume 1 Main Report dated June 2011” must, subject to consent from the owners of the relevant areas, be incorporated into the Significant Environmental Benefit for vegetation clearance, and details must be provided in an endeavour to improve their condition and raise these areas to a higher condition class;

13.6 a Soil Erosion and Drainage Management Plan prepared in accordance with the EPA’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Code of Practice (for the Building and Construction Industry), March 1999; and

13.7 measures to manage potential noise and dust emissions, solid and liquid wastes and concrete wastes from construction works. …

15. Prior to the commencement of construction, a Bushfire Management Plan which incorporates the following bushfire management requirements shall be prepared to the satisfaction of Council …

16. Prior to the commencement of construction, a Rehabilitation Plan for the site shall be prepared, to the satisfaction of the Council, and shall include proposed environmental offsets in accordance with relevant South Australian government policies and guidelines, a management program (to be undertaken during the operational life of the Development) and end-of-project decommissioning works (to outline the extent of reinstatement and restoration activities upon the removal of the Development).

17. Prior to the commencement of construction, a Cultural Heritage Management Plan shall be prepared, to the reasonable satisfaction of the Council, for both European and Aboriginal cultural heritage. This Plan shall address the outcomes of the Supplementary Cultural Heritage Survey and include an appropriate site discovery procedure. The Development must be carried out in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

18. Noise generated by the Development must not exceed the higher of:

  • 40dB(A) (LAeq,10) for noise sensitive receivers in the Primary Production/General Farming Zone; or
  • the background noise (LA90,10) plus 5dB(A) at noise sensitive receivers.

19. Upon the commissioning of the Development, an independent acoustic consultant (other than the company who prepared the predictive Acoustic Report) shall be appointed by the wind farm operator to monitor noise levels at Houses 11, 16, 20, 23 and 30 (as shown on the map in the Marshall Day Acoustics Report dated 20 July 2011), in accordance with the EPA Wind Farms: Environmental Noise Guidelines 2009, and the wind farm operator shall provide a report to the Council and the Respondents on the results of this monitoring and on the relevant wind farm output data during the noise monitoring period, which the wind farm operator shall provide within two months from the date of the Development’s commissioning.

20. Noise emissions of wind turbine generators shall not include audible tones (Delta*La,k>0). The tonality test must be conducted in accordance with the international standard IEC 61400-11: Wind turbine generator systems – Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques. …

[2014] SAERDC 48
Judgment of Her Honour Judge Cole, Commissioner Mosel and Commissioner Brookman
4 November 2014

Download original document: “Stony Gap Judgment

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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