August 2, 2018

Wind farm turbine blade still needs council approval

Wind farm blade hits legal bump | Steve Evans | Glen Innes Examiner | August 1, 2018 |

The plan to transport the huge wind farm turbine blade to Veness Park has been delayed. Residents willnow be consulted before work goes ahead.

The council said it had “received submissions from a number of residents concerning the proposed location for the blade, and will provide an opportunity for the impacts both positive and negative to be further considered by Council prior to the works being undertaken.”

The 18 tonne piece of equipment was to be placed on plinths as a public sculpture but altering the park to take it needs more paperwork because the place is heritage listed.

The move was due to happen this week or next but the council says it can’t be done until the matter has been formally approved.

A statement said: “As Veness Park is heritage listed under the Local Environmental Plan, Council is required to undertake an Impact Assessment and provide such assessment to Council for their consideration.

“Council staff are currently undertaking the necessary work to present the appropriate documentation for Council’s consideration.

“The placement of the wind turbine blade will not occur until such time as Council have considered the Impact Assessment.”

The plan was to put the blade which is half the length of a soccer field on concrete plinths. It would be on its side, but high enough to be beyond the reach of graffiti vandals.

A proposal to stand it upright on on of the roundabouts on the New England Highway as a spectacular icon representing Glen Innes was rejected as too risky.

One hole has already been dug for the plinths in the park but the rest is on hold, presumably pending the legal approval.

The delay may be because of Nola Taylor, a thorn in the council’s side. Her house overlooks the park and she has been pressing the council on whether all the legal steps have been completed.

It is not known whether any delay would jeopardise the whole project.

When the council committed to the installation in the park back in March, it was told that time was tight because the special trucks needed weren’t in the area for long, only while construction at the Sapphire wind farm was happening.

The cost of the whole installation, with concrete and steel plinths, would be something like $30,000, including $10,000 for the move itself.

Here’s how the report to the council addressed cost: “Installation will also require the construction of concrete footings and steel fabrication for mountings, plus the use of cranes to lift the blade into position.

“Funding would be required in the short term”, the report added.

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