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Legal threat against Penshurst wind turbine landowners

An anti-wind farm group is threatening to sue any landholders who have agreed to have turbines for the proposed massive Penshurst wind farm on their properties.

Southern Grampians Landscape Guardians president Keith Staff said the group’s legal advisors had sent a letter to farmers and other landholders in the Penshurst area warning them that if wind turbines were built on their land, neighbouring landholders might sue them for any nuisance they caused, such as noise.

“Every resident has a legal right to live in peace and quiet in their own home,” Mr Staff said.

He believed no more than 10 property holders had signed agreements with RES Australia to have some of the 223 turbines proposed for the farm on their properties.

He believed up to two or three of those landholders had already moved off their properties because they did not want to live near wind turbines but wanted the rental income they would receive from them.

RES Australia Penshurst wind farm developer Simon Kerrison said he had heard about the warning by the Landscape Guardians group from others.

Mr Kerrison said the warning had not persuaded any landholders to withdraw from agreements they had with RES Australia.

He said there was no legal precedent for neighbours to a wind turbine successfully suing the owner of the land on which a turbine was located for nuisance noise.

Mr Kerrison said any such legal case would be a long one and the nuisance would be difficult to prove.

RES Australia would ensure the Penshurst wind farm complied with relevant noise standards that protected adjacent landholders.

“We do not expect there will be any complaints,” Mr Kerrison said.