A dairy farmer’s blockade of a proposed wind farm in the Lower South East has triggered an aggressive response from the State Government.
Richard Paltridge, Eight Mile Creek, successfully won his appeal against the District Council of Grant in June after it had given approval to a $175-million, 46-turbine wind farm development.
The Environmental Resources and Development Court overturned the council’s decision that led to the State Government last week releasing a proposed Ministerial Development Plan Amendment, which sets guidelines for wind farms in SA. It is designed to prevent third parties, such as Mr Paltridge, appealing against wind farm developments.
Mr Paltridge had argued there would be noise and health issues as a result of the turbines’ close proximity to his home.
More than one of them would have been 870 metres north of his house. He was also concerned about milking 700 Friesian cross cows adjacent to the proposed wind farm in a newly built, fully robotic dairy.
Mr Paltridge had said the value of his land would drop.
“When wind farms go up along- side you, it devalues the land by 30 per cent to 40pc,” he said.
“I’ve just installed a completely robotic dairy. It was very expensive and that’s why I’m so upset about the wind farm.”
Mr Paltridge said landholders were paid well to have turbines installed on their property, but a lot of them did not live on-property. “And many of them say they wouldn’t want to either,” he said.
Judge Jack Costello, from the ERDC, rejected Mr Paltridge’s health concerns, but instead set a precedent by upholding the plaintiff’s other argument that turbines would detract from the region’s character and amenity.
Mr Costello said the area was unlike other large and sparsely populated regions of the State because there were “numerous” agricultural enterprises under way that were “modest in size”.
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