The NSW government has drafted guidelines that could throw a spanner in the works as Epuron seeks approval to build a $19.5million wind farm in Eden.
Under a proposal by premier Barry O’Farrell, there would be an exclusion zone where residents within two kilometres of a proposed wind turbine could effectively put the skids on the project.
Under those guidelines Edrom Lodge leaseholders Christine Taylor and Brian Humphreys would be within their rights to object to the current proposal, and Mr Humphries said were he given that trump card to play, he would.
“When they’re up, they’re up for 30 years and once they’re up there’s not much you can do about it,” he said.
“I don’t want wind turbines right over the lodge.
“To me that’s just ridiculous.
“I’m not against wind farms by any means, but why don’t they shift them out and put them in a national park somewhere, not on someone’s doorstep.
“There’s a constant low noise and they said they’d be lit up at night, so we’d have them flickering away as well.”
Mr Humphries said he’d seen photomontages of the proposed turbines, one of which had been originally positioned just 500 metres from the lodge but has since been moved further away.
“On the photos they don’t look that bad, but these things are 45 storeys high, so we’ll be able to see all seven of them from the house,” he said.
Mr Humphries said that since they’d spent more than $100,000 on renovations in the five years they’ve had the 20-year lease on the lodge, visitor numbers were well up with accommodation booked solidly from October to April and numerous weddings held on the grounds.
“Who knows what impact a wind farm would have on people staying here,” he said. “We’re trying to attract tourists and I don’t buy the idea that wind farms attract tourists. I wouldn’t travel to Eden to see a wind farm.”
The Bega Valley Shire Council is currently preparing the development application, for the seven turbines to be erected on the South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) site, to be assessed by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Cr Michael Britten, who will sit on the panel, said there would also be further inspections of the proposed locations for each turbine along with a public meeting in February or March.
“There have been submissions to council, but in practice we can accept them up to and during the public meeting,” he said.
“Anyone wanting to make a submission has to notify us before hand and come along and present the submission.”