Wind turbines being proposed for a development near Hawkesdale will be invisible from the Tower Hill lookout and a landscape expert believes the 31-tower project won’t change the character of Moyne Shire.
Landscape architect Allan Wyatt told a panel hearing yesterday that strategic tree plantings would reduce the visibility of turbines from most neighbouring houses.
Mr Wyatt, an expert called by TME Australia, the company proposing the $145 million project, said surveys conducted around the world found about 70 per cent of people were in favour of wind farms.
He said the acceptance by neighbours rose once construction was completed.
Mr Wyatt said when ranking the visual impact turbines would have on an area flat rural landscapes rated low because such land was so abundant.
Also, because the wind farm would not be visible from any highways in the region it was not considered to be a significant change to its characteristics, he said.
The turbines will be twice the size of existing 65m transmission towers and the closest turbine will be only 2.6km from Hawkesdale.
Despite the town’s proximity to the farm the turbines will barely be seen because of trees screening the towers, he said.
However, Mr Wyatt conceded most homes built outside of town and positioned to the south of the wind farm had few trees screening the development and the turbines were highly visible.
Plantings to screen properties south side may reduce natural light, he noted.
Mr Wyatt told the expert panel he did not believe 1000-metre setbacks between turbines and properties were necessary.
He said that from his experience strategic tree plantings could minimise views of the farm.
The expert panel will sit at the Port Fairy Yacht Club today from 10am to continue hearing the company’s submission.
The three-member panel will prepare a report and a recommendation, both of which will be considered by Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden later this year.
By Sarah Scopelianos
12 April 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding