Hills of Gold wind farm: government wants more details on Nundle wind farm project after 2000-page report
The NSW government has demanded even more information from French multinational ENGIE about their Nundle wind farm project, despite the developer last month publishing a 2000-page update on the green scheme. Issues regarding bat habitat, visual impact and biodiversity have still yet to be resolved, despite the novel-length initial development application and updates in the company's response to submissions, according to the Department of Planning Industry and Environment (DPIE).
ENGIE is next week set to conduct several more days of consultation in Nundle, in an effort to win public support for its Hills of Gold wind farm project. READ MORE: A strong majority of the 632 submissions on the project's development application objected to its approval.
In response to the widespread opposition, ENGIE slashed the size of the project by five turbines and 200 hectares last month. General Manager of Asset Development, Andrew Kerley, said the community information sessions would provide a forum to discuss the company's updated development plans.
"Our response to submissions is a 2000-page document that addresses matters raised during the public exhibition period," he said.
"We hope residents use these sessions to ask questions about our response to submissions, as it is vital that we understand the community's views.
We'll also explain the additional work ENGIE has undertaken, which has resulted in major project changes."
The company shrunk the physical footprint of the scheme by 41 per cent, and slashed five wind turbines.
Mr Kerley said they had also designed a bypass of the notorious Devil's Elbow pinch point.
Among other things, DPIE asked the company for "further justification" of why the developer needed a private haulage road through a crown reserve "when alternative transport route options are available and considering the process required to secure access to this land".
DPIE also asked for information regarding the status of agreements with landowners of "sensitive receivers" – that will be able to see the 220-metre tall wind turbines.
The state planning body also wanted a "justification for the placement of wind turbines immediately adjacent to Ben Halls Gap Nature Reserve".
The company is scheduled to provide the information by March.
The information sessions will be held in Nundle at Machina Coffee and Donuts, from 6.30am until 10am every morning from February 14 to 16, and on February 14 at the Nundle Bowling Club from 5 to 7pm. There will also be sessions at Hanging Rock Hall on February 15 from 5 to 7pm, and Timor Community Hall on February 16 from 5 to 7pm.
The wind farm would produce enough power to power about 182,000 average Australian homes, if approved.
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