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Wind farm planning changes detailed  

Credit:  ABC News, www.abc.net.au 4 March 2011 ~~

The Victorian Government has amended wind farm planning guidelines.

The planning rules require new planning applications to identify all homes within two kilometres of turbines.

It makes local governments the responsible planning authority for all wind farms, regardless of size, and introduces new noise guidelines.

Wind farms that have pending planning applications will be assessed by the previous guidelines for the next year.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy says the amendment will ensure the placement of turbines is adequately considered.

“What VC78 will do is for the first time, actually identify homes that are close to dwellings, so that those who are making a decision, whether it be the council or myself as Minister, will be aware of how many people will be directly impacted,” he said.

Southern Grampians Landscape Guardians president Keith Staff says he is disappointed the amendment does not include a mandatory two-kilometre buffer between houses and wind turbines.

“Taking into consideration the earlier announcements and discussion about a two-kilometre setback more or less being mandatory or enforced, so the initial response to this would be one of disappointment,” he said.

Source:  ABC News, www.abc.net.au 4 March 2011

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