The company behind a planned wind farm on Brown Mountain has suspended the development claiming continuing global uncertainty due to the coronavirus.
The news came as somewhat of a relief for residents in the area, who have been campaigning against the development for more than three years.
"We just want to get on with our lives," David Williams, a spokesman for the Brown Mountain Residents Group said.
"It's been a trying experience and I wouldn't wish it on anyone else."
In a statement released on Tuesday, November 3, Akuo Energy said the COVID-19 pandemic "has placed extreme financial pressures on international organisations, causing increased uncertainty for all businesses".
Akuo Energy is headquartered in France, where the pandemic has been particularly severe and, as a result, impacted global operations.
"As a consequence of this increased business uncertainty, Akuo is currently not actively pursuing the Granite Hills Wind Farm project."
Stuart Macfarlane, CEO Australia, Akuo Energy said notice of the decision had been communicated to the NSW Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE).
"Should we reactivate the project, we would seek agreement to recommence the development."
Mr Williams said the wording was far from clearcut that the project was cancelled entirely, but "we suspect it's dead in the water".
The location at Steeple Flat appeared attractive for the developer given its windy position at the top of the escarpment and close proximity to high capacity power lines.
However, neighbours and nearby landholders had significant concerns regarding the sensitive biodiversity on and around the site, including migratory birds like the white-throated needletail. There have also been multiple finds of Aboriginal artefacts recorded on the site.
More recently, Akuo amended its site plan to include fewer turbines than initially proposed, although each would be larger.
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