Moyne Shire councillors will vote on a controversial wind farm proposal at Tuesday’s monthly council meeting.
Council officers have recommended councillors object to the Willatook Wind Farm planning permit application and send it to a state government planning panel.
The site of the proposed wind farm is 7km east of Orford and just 3km south of the 140-turbine Macarthur Wind Farm.
Under the proposal the wind farm would have 59 turbines spread across 4000 hectares of farming land. Each turbine would be 250m tall, more than 100m taller than the neighbouring Macarthur turbines.
Council’s current position is to oppose all new wind farms in Moyne Shire, hence the recommendation that the councillors vote to object, but council officers also offered some specific concerns about the project in the meeting agenda.
One central issue was the “cumulative impact” of wind turbines in the western part of the shire.
“The western cluster of wind farms in the Shire already has 244 turbines approved, over 4 wind farms. Adding another 59 turbines leads this to over 300 turbines in the landscape,” the agenda said.
The agenda also noted “community concerns” about the proposal. The application went out for public consultation and received 61 community feedback submissions, 60 of which opposed the plan, citing possible threats to wildlife, visual amenity and detriment to surrounding farms and neighbouring towns.
In a new draft position on wind farms council has also argued the state government should create a strategic land use plan for the region to ensure the wind farm network is developed in an orderly manner.”
The Willatook Wind Farm has been in the planning process for more than a decade, with council forming a community engagement committee for the project in 2011.
While councillors can register their objection at Tuesday’s vote, the decision to grant or reject a planning permit rests with the Minister for Planning.
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