The proposed Green Point Wind Farm near Piccaninni Ponds will not go ahead after developers withdrew their application for the controversial project this week.
Wind Prospect has notified Grant District Council of its decision to withdraw the application, citing economic reasons for the move.
“Wind Prospect is no longer proceeding with the development and construction of the Green Point Wind Farm and would like to advise the council that we are withdrawing the development application for this project,” the company’s development manager Aaron Sluczanowski wrote in a letter to council.
“Due to current economic market conditions in Australia, it is not favourable to continue with the development and construction of the Green Point Wind Farm due to its small scale.”
Cattle and sheep farmer Jo Feast, who faced having at least one of the turbines within 1km of her home, was “absolutely wrapped” when she heard about the withdrawal yesterday.
“I am really, really happy that commonsense has prevailed,” Ms Feast said.
“Restrictions placed on us have been lifted.
“We’ve got our beautiful area and our land back and the birds are not under threat from the turbines anymore.”
Council initially granted permission for the 25-turbine wind farm to go ahead in 2001, but after a bird survey was conducted in the vicinity of Picaninni Ponds, the orange bellied parrot was spotted and Wind Prospect was ordered to delay construction until strict conditions were met.
After Wind Prospect established an alternative site for the critically endangered bird, the developer renewed its interest mid last year to construct the first three turbines on a farm near Lower Nelson Road.
Although landowners did not initially object to the development back in 2001, some residents in the area were furious when it was brought to the table again last year, raising concerns around the possible impact of turbines on the thriving birdlife in the Picaninni Ponds Conservation Park.
Council’s development manager Rod Storan said yesterday it had become increasingly difficult for the Local Government body to deal with wind farm development applications.
“It’s not always easy balancing conflicting interests where there are economic benefits in these developments on the one hand and landowners objecting on the other hand,” Mr Storan said.
“No one objected to the wind farm in 2001, but things are different now that the public’s knowledge and experience with wind farms have increased.”