A proposal to build a 16-turbine wind farm near Seymour, in Victoria, has been given the green light by VCAT.
The Cherry Tree Wind Farm was rejected by the Mitchell Shire which cited health concerns but that decision has been overruled.
The project by Infigen Energy is the first wind farm to be approved under the government’s new planning laws which were introduced in 2011.
The tribunal had adjourned the hearing into the project, which received more than 100 objections, for about six months to wait for studies into the effects of turbines.
In its decision reasonings the tribunal said: “there was no persuasive evidence establishing a casual link between those effects and air pressure generated by the turbines, in the form of either audible noise or infrasound, that is, air wave pressure below the threshold of human hearing”.
The finding later stated there was “no compelling evidence, and indeed no expert evidence at all that was capable of being tested, that would justify the tribunal adopting a view that is opposed to the clearly stated opinion of the public health authorities”.
The tribunal used information from NSW and Victorian health department to form its decision.
The tribunal accepts the council’s 2km buffer zone between turbines and nearby homes.
Yes 2 Renewables’ Leigh Ewbank said in a statement: “VCAT’s decision once again proves wind farms are clean and safe. They’ve rejected the claims that wind farms make people sick”.
“The project would not have been possible without an active proponent and supportive community.”
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