A proposed wind farm at Naroghid, near Cobden, has been scrapped after the state’s top planning authority gave neighbouring landowners the right to veto turbines near their homes.
The small-scale, 20-tower wind farm had been given a 2006 permit without a two-kilometre setback rule which gives farmers and landowners a change to boycott turbines inside the zone.
But the Victorian Civil and Adminiastrative Tribunal (VCAT) has ordered the parent company wind Farm Developments seek a new permit that would enforce this law after the previous permit lapsed.
The ruling effectively kills off the project because of the high number of objectors surrounding the proposal.
The company has remained tightlipped throughout the long running saga and took 24 hours to release a statement this week that it had in fact ditched its hope.
“Naroghid wind Farm Pty Ltd has announced the Naroghid wind farm project will not be going ahead in its current form,” spokesman Alistair Wilson said.
“The recent VCAT decision meant further court hearings and delays would be necessary and for a small wind farm projet this is not a commercially viable proposition.”
Revelations also emerged earlier this year of abuseive correspondence between the department of planning and solicitors representing the company.
Pro-wind farm lobbyists have been calling for the Napthine government to scrap the setback rule, saying it has stifled proposals since it was brought in by the Coalition.
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said the news was an example of planning laws undermining the renewable energy sector.
Meanwhile, the company rejected rumours it had sold off its Woolsthorpe wind farm project.
“Work is continuing on the Woolsthorpe wind farm,” Mr Wilson said.
He said the project had not been sold and main track construction at the site was progressing.
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