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Crystal Brook Energy Farm hits turbulence  

Credit:  Greg Mayfield | The Recorder | June 28, 2018 | www.portpirierecorder.com.au ~~

Councillors will again voice their opposition to a multi-million-dollar energy park planned for Crystal Brook.

It is the second time Port Pirie Regional Council has objected to the plan by Neoen Energy.

In May last year, the council voted to “actively oppose” the project in line with its development policy for the zone.

The energy park would see wind towers installed at the southern edge of the Flinders Ranges around Crystal Brook and Beetaloo Valley.

The council’s 2013 Development Plan says the zone should be protected from developments which impact “scenic amenity”.

The state Liberal government’s State Commission Assessment Panel is looking at the application for the project.

Planning Minister Stephan Knoll has final approval of the project and, if he is in favour, he will be at odds with former Liberal candidate for Frome Cr Kendall Jackson who spearheaded the council’s latest opposition.

“I am just not happy with the proposal,” she told the latest council meeting.

She successfully moved, seconded by Deputy Mayor Cr Leon Stephens, for the council to oppose the proposed development in its existing form.

The council also outlined concerns including those relating to television reception, buffer distances between towers and homes and impact on scenery.

It raised fears that radio broadcasts from an ABC tower at Huddleston Road, Crystal Brook, could be affected.

As well, concerns were mentioned about the height and noise of towers and the closeness of clusters of towers to townships and residents.

About 25 people sat in the gallery for the debate. They included supporters and critics of the project.

The move by Cr Jackson and Cr Stephens was carried unanimously. The council will now puts its case to the panel.

Cr Jackson said the company’s application for approval had said that the venture was backed by the mayor and then council chief executive officer.

“It is wrong to put in there that they have the support of council when we have not made a formal decision,” she said.

“We need to set the record straight.”

Mayor John Rohde then told the meeting that the statement was incorrect.

Crystal Brook’s Genevieve Wells, a spokeswoman for residents against the project, said the group wished there were stronger guidelines for such applications.

She said the council’s decision was a “step in the right direction”, but unfortunately it was retrospective.

“This will be assessed on the current guidelines,” she said.

Another Crystal Brook resident, Pam Pilkington, lives on a lifestyle block in Talbot Road near where towers will go up.

“We will have the visual impact of all 26 of them and the noise and the infrasound impact,” she said.

Source:  Greg Mayfield | The Recorder | June 28, 2018 | www.portpirierecorder.com.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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