An energy company blocked from developing a wind farm at Allendale in the State’s South East has dropped an appeal to the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Instead, it will return to the drawing board to propose a new development, following the outcome of the State Government’s new wind farm legislation, which proposes mandatory distances of 1 kilometre from an isolated dwelling, unless otherwise agreed, and 2km from a town or development zone.
It would also prevent third parties from appealing against wind farms, provided the proposal met planning and Environmental Protection Authority guidelines.
Acciona Energy development director Andrew Thomson said the changes to planning requirements provided more certainty for developers, local councils and communities.
But the Eight Mile Creek dairyfarmer who blocked the previous application in the ERDC on grounds of visual amenity said the proposed legislation was “undemocratic”.
Richard Paltridge said that along with creating restrictions on future development of towns, the new guidelines were an “invasion of human rights”.
“If you take Allendale, under the new legislation it would not be able to expand,” he said.
“Ten years ago, if you’d had that rule and put wind farms around Mount Gambier, it would not have grown and it would have been stifled.
“We’ve stopped this wind farm, but former Premier Mike Rann has put up this legislation so they can make another application.
“It’s absolute bullshit.”
A spokesperson for Planning Minister John Rau confirmed the new plans could prevent towns from expanding.
“Wind farms are classed as a form of development, just like any other form of infrastructure, and will be assessed against policy in a council development plan,” he said.
*Full report in Stock Journal, November 17 issue, 2011.
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