Truenergy has won the right to construct an 80m lattice wind monitoring tower about 13km south of Burra, in the state’s Mid-North.
The Regional Council of Goyder had granted consent to the tower, subject to a number of conditions, but several people raised concerns about the development.
A group of concerned citizens took legal action against the council and TRUEnergy – which took over the project, known as the Stony Gap Wind Farm development, from Roaring 40s Renewable Energy – in the Environment Resources and Development Court. Their case was based on issues such as environmental concerns and disruption of the landscape because of the height of the tower.
In his judgment, Commissioner Terry Mosel says the development would not be the first of its type in the area. “The development site would be situated on an exposed, cleared and rock-strewn area of grazing land that, together with the access track, would occupy an insignificant proportion of the land,” the judgment says.
“When this fact is seen in the light of the proposed construction method, the brief construction period and the use of an existing access route, it becomes apparent that the proposed development would not conflict with, nor materially affect, the (primary production) purpose for which the land is zoned and currently used.”
Commissioner Mosel says while the tower is tall, it has a “slim and open profile”.
“It will be visible for the public from a distance of about 1.3km at the nearest point,’’ he says. “The distance from the public road would reduce its prominence and visual impact to an acceptable level. “. . . I find that the resulting visual impact – which aspect is to be afforded weight in the assessment – is acceptable.”
Commissioner Mosel granted the council development plan consent.
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