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Council has rejected a proposal to install a wind turbine blade in Veness Park.
The White Rock Wind Farm had offered the blade – damaged during construction, and unable to be used – to Glen Innes Severn Council in March.
Council proposed installing the blade in Veness Park as a visitor attraction. That motion was carried six votes to one.
Councillors elected on Thursday night not to affirm the previous resolution.
The motion was lost four votes to three.
Mayor Steve Toms, Crs Price and Smith voted in favour, Deputy Mayor Carol Sparks, Crs Frendon, Newman, and Parsons voted against.
Cr Sparks commented that she was not against Veness Park as the location for the wind turbine blade, but wanted more time for community consultation.
Council’s Heritage Advisor Mr Graham Wilson, in an assessment for council, had concluded that installation of the blade would compromise the park’s heritage values.
The blade is 59.5 metres long, and, according to the proposal, would be erected on concrete footings and steel-fabricated mountings, to a height of 5.5 metres.
Its installation in Veness Park would require high supports to prevent vandalism, and concrete pads for the structure.
This, Mr Wilson advised, would damage the parkland and existing vegetation.
The matter has been referred to Council’s Open Spaces committee to identify a suitable alternative location.
Cr Toms said he believed that another investigation would repeat work already done.
Council staff had investigated which sites could suitably house and display the wind blade, and had deemed Veness Park the most suitable location, even after considering the heritage assessment.
He also noted that processes were in place to address questions about heritage issues.
“I’m disappointed in the result,” Cr Toms said. “It’s an expression of councillors struggling to make good, clear decisions, and stick by them.”
Delaying installation of the turbine may also escalate costs.
Transport of the turbine is estimated to cost $10,000.
Contractors hauling wind blades to the Sapphire Wind Farm had offered to transport this blade gratis.
The blade was due to be moved a few weeks ago from its spot in a yard on the road to Inverell.
Time was said to be tight because specialist trucks were only in the area for a limited time.
Since work on the farm is expected to finish in mid-September, this leaves the wind turbine up in the air – or grounded.
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