A significant Landscape Overlay covering areas surrounding Smeaton won’t prevent turbines from being constructed, a wind company has said.
Wind Power is leading the push to build about 19 turbines as part of its Tuki proposal.
Company director Andrew Newbold said consultants had delivered a draft report that was commissioned to find out what impact the overlay would have on its proposal to build turbines in the area.
“The draft advice indicates that there is a way of designing a wind farm around the significant landscape overlay,” Mr Newbold said.
“The advice is we need to be sensitive to the area and that there shouldn’t be a blanket prohibition on putting turbines within the overlay.
“The important thing to know is that it’s draft advice.”
Mr Newbold said the report was commissioned to answer community questions about the number and design of the proposed wind farm.”
Spa Country Landscape Guardians spokesman and opponent Will Elsworth said if the company was successful in putting turbines within the SLO it would be a first in Victoria.
“If you go through all the planning panel reports on wind farms one of their biggest considerations is whether there is an SLO in the area,” Mr Elsworth said.
“There has never been a wind turbine put in a SLO. I don’t think they checked the planning scheme before they came here because at the first community meeting in March they didn’t even know what a SLO was.”
Areas covered by a significant landscape overlay are deemed to have significant visual, environmental and landscape characteristics.
Hepburn Shire Council acting mayor Tim Hayes said Wind Power would need to provide good reasons to put wind turbines in the SLO covered area.
“My view is Wind Power would need to provide an overwhelming reason to justify placing turbines within the area,” Cr Hayes said.
25 September 2007
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