The inal SA Planning and Design Code draft with reviewed guidelines for wind farms is expected to be handed to the state government by the SA Planning Commission in April, but, in the wake of the Twin Creek wind farm being approved, a recent meeting at Eudunda revealed some communities are still calling for increased setbacks between wind farms and rural houses.
Last month, the Planning Commission hosted a public forum following a request from Hansborough and Districts Resident’s Group member Mary Morris, who was concerned about adverse impacts from wind farms.
The final consultation about the code for rural areas closed on November 29, with proposed changes including increasing the buffer zone 1.2-kilometre buffer zone between turbines and homes from 1 kilometre to 1.2km, while towns would be 2km.
SA Planning Commission’s Allan Holmes led the meeting and said the issue of turbine distance was a widespread concern among communities who were or could be affected by wind farm projects.
“Most people who attended the meeting lived near existing or proposed wind farms and although not all were opposed to wind farms, they were opposed to them being too close,” he said.
Mr Holmes said the state government would most likely look at what other states had put in place and community feedback for separation distances, as well as the commission’s findings.
“There is no doubt that those who are financial beneficiaries of a wind farm do not object to the distance because it would potentially outweigh any negatives,” he said.
Twin Creek landholder Kym Mosey welcomed the approval of Renewable Energy System’s Twin Creek wind farm and hoped the surrounding community could see its benefits.
“Wind farms can create long-term benefits for employment in small communities,” he said.
Projects of this size do not happen very often.”
“Wind farm projects have injected a lot of financial support to communities.”
Mr Mosey will host 15 of the 51 turbines on 60 hectares of his farm and said the code’s buffer zone was sufficient.
“RES have introduced a self-imposed increased buffer zone of 2km so it’s even further than the code’s recommendation,” he said.
“The buffer zone is in place for those who are not involved in the project but our property will also be 2km away from turbines.
“I do not have health concerns. There is no amount of money that I would take and knowingly sign my family up to compromise their health.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding