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Council concerns on wind farm traffic

Upper Lachlan Council has expressed strong doubts on claims by the proposed Paling Yards wind farm developer that all its construction traffic will come from the north, and not from the south along local roads.

Paling Yards is just over the Upper Lachlan border in Oberon Shire.

In a submission to the State Planning Authority Upper Lachlan Planning Director, Mrs. Tina Dodson points out that the route from the south, along Upper Lachlan roads, is much shorter both in time and distance than travelling via Sydney, Katoomba, Lithgow and Bathurst.

The large and heavy loadings required to transport wind farm constructions along the Western Highway route would cause traffic disruption, inconvenience and annoyance for the public along that route.

“Council also has the view that ongoing road works on the Great Western Highway will result in unreliable availability of access to that road for over mass and over-dimension vehicles,” Mrs. Dodson claimed.

The fear is that the wind farm developers will in fact use the southern approaches, which will involved increased heavy and light traffic along Upper Lachlan roads, particularly the Taralga – Oberon stretch.

Mrs. Dodson added: “Council has significant problems with the proponent’s statement that doubling the flow of light traffic will provide little reduction in traffic safety.

“There is significant signage along the road which already has a less than ideal accident history.

“This problem is further exacerbated when the peaks created by windfarm light and heavy traffic, logging trucks and residents journeying to work may all coincide – this is likely.”

Mrs. Dodson advised the Planning Department that Upper Lachlan would require an unconditional permit issued to the developers that over mass and over dimension traffic would be able to travel via the Great Western Highway.

Alternatively, the proponent will be required to commit to the upgrade of the road network as required.

Cr. Brian McCormack commented that the Planning Director’s submission was “on the ball.”

“We will just have to wait and see where it goes,” he added.

Cr. Malcolm Barlow pointed out nothing had been said about the possible effects of the Paling Yards construction on TV reception for the area.

“It is just across the border from Upper Lachlan,” Cr. Barlow said.