LAND surrounding a proposed $85 million Woolsthorpe wind farm will become outpaddocks unable to be built upon because the turbines will be too close to property boundaries.
Three farmers raised fears and accused the project developer of taking photos of the area from ditches to disguise the magnitude of the 20-turbine farm.
Wind Farm Developments project manager Jonathan Upson told Moyne Shire councillors yesterday his company had not decided what type of turbines it would use in the project, which would power 23,000 homes.
“One of the reasons farmers signed up (to host turbines) is to drought-proof their farm,” Mr Upson said.
“It’s not like farms are swimming in cash and most of the income will be spent in the area.”
The farm spans a single property fronting Slattery’s Road.
The position of the proposed turbines ranges from 60m to more than 520m from adjoining properties.
Cr Jim Doukas asked the developer if he had considered compensating neighbouring farmers who would not be able to build near property boundaries because of the turbines but Mr Upson dismissed the suggestion. “Why can’t there be a buffer zone of 500m?” Cr Doukas asked.
“The farmer should be able to build right up to the boundary because it is his farm.”
The shire’s planning and environment director Greg Anders said the council had requested buffer zones of three times the turbines’ height, which equated to about 350m from adjoining properties, in submissions on previous projects.
Woolsthorpe resident David Thompson said he built his retirement home to make the most of the views and claimed Moyne was being bombarded by wind farm projects.
Neighbour Michael Bell said he wasn’t opposed to wind farms but labelled the montage of photos shown at open days and to the Moyne Shire Council as a “set-up” taken from ditches.
He asked that the turbines be pushed back from the farm’s boundaries because as the plan stood, sections of his farm would remain outpaddocks unable to be developed.
Moyne Shire will hold a special council meeting next Tuesday at 3.30pm to decide its position before making a submission on the project.
By Sarah Scopelianos
11 April 2007
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