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Order to relocate or reduce Woorndoo turbines

Proponents of a Salt Creek wind farm facility will resubmit an application or reduce the number of turbines to match Moyne Shire’s new policy for major energy projects.

Councillors deferred the developer’s request for an extension of commencement time at Tuesday’s meeting, and requested a traffic management plan for the site at Woorndoo, 25 kilometres north of Mortlake.

New En Pty Ltd has requested until August 18 next year to start construction of the proposed facility of up to 18 wind turbines, while the current permit expires on March 15.

However, the council’s revised policy, which states no turbines are to be located within two kilometres of a dwelling on an adjoining landowner’s land unless an agreement is made.

Cr Ken Gale said with two houses within two kilometres of multiple turbine sites, the proponents now had the option of submitting a new application to fit with the revised policy.

“There has been a change of policy by state government this year and our own council,” he said.

“I think it’s in the best interest to refuse the extension of time.

“We haven’t got a traffic management plan yet and we’ve learnt from experience it’s imperative we have that.”

Cr James Purcell said deferring the item to next month’s council meeting would give developers a chance to consider reducing the site’s number of towers to conform to the two-kilometre setback.

“We may finish with a win-win situation,” Cr Purcell said.

“Developing a new application is a long and tedious process, but by deferring we give them the opportunity to meet our guidelines.

“We may be able to fulfil both objectives by deferring for a month.”