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Wind farm loses power

A key property owner has declined to sign on with the energy company behind the $100 million Trawool/Whitehead’s Creek Cherry Tree Wind Farm proposal.

Australian-based company Infigen Energy has been in negotiations with the landowner over the past several months to incorporate their land within the project, but they were unable to agree on commercial terms.

Infigen Energy development manager Laura Dunphy said the application will still be going ahead but, as a result, the wind farm will most likely lose one or two turbines.

Ms Dunphy said engineers are now reassessing the turbines and where they can be placed on the land available and an updated application will be submitted to council.

The previous wind farm plan talks of 16 turbines in total, each with a blade tip height of 159 metres, blade length of 59 metres, rotor diameter of 119 metres and a hub height of up to 100 metres.

The wind farm has been a contentious issue with a recently formed lobby group opposing the development based on visual impact, tourism, environment concerns, probable decrease in land value, eventual deterioration of roads, noise and health concerns.

Infigen Energy has since refuted the health risk claims and is directing concerned residents to a seminar in Melbourne where Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney Simon Chapman will answer questions about health issues surrounding wind turbines.

Council’s sustainable development director, Kerrie Birtwistle, said Mitchell Shire Council’s assessment of the wind farm application will be guided by the relevant State Planning Framework applicable to wind energy facilities.

Submission dates for the Cherry Tree Wind Farm proposal closed on August 31, however, council will continue to receive and consider any submissions up until the time a decision is made.

Ms Birtwhistle did not indicate when this might be.

The application is available for viewing at the Seymour Library, Broadford Customer Service Centre, Wallan Customer Service Centre, and Murrindindi Shire Council Yea offices.