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Pyrenees wind farm scrapped

For Tony Briody and his two sons, the scrapping of a 19-turbine wind farm in Lexton was a very early Christmas present.

The closest turbine would have been less than one kilometre from their family home, had the plans gone ahead.

But about a week ago Origin Energy representatives visited Lexton community members to tell them the wind farm proposal would be abandoned.

“It’s a huge relief, and financially for everybody it is (a relief),” Mr Briody said. “A little place like Lexton, there’s a lot of pensioners here who have put all their life savings into their houses and … if the towers had of gone up there’s no doubt they would have depreciated in value.

“People don’t want to buy a house that’s sitting under them (wind turbines).”

The Pyrenees Shire Council initially approved the wind farm project in 2007, when it was run by Wind Power. Wind farm developer Origin Energy then took over the project in 2009, before scrapping it late last month.

Mr Briody said if the wind farm had gone ahead, it would have destroyed the natural beauty of the area.

“Our people have been here for 170 years and they really value the country, and to put wind turbines through these beautiful Pyrenees ranges would have been just a massacre,” he said.

Mitchell ward councillor David Clark said he wasn’t surprised by the scrapping.

“No I wasn’t (surprised), it had gone pretty quiet for the past 12 months or so,” he said.

An Origin spokesperson would not say why the project was abandoned, but that the company would focus “on a targeted number of renewable energy projects in Australia, including Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, and internationally”.