Wind factory developers are universally despised bunch, whose penchant for bullying, lying and deceiving locals knows no bounds.
Little wonder that the communities they threaten quickly close ranks and, when they’ve got the resources, lawyer up and fight.
And, so it was, in Victoria’s Gippsland, where a group of pro-community defenders managed to expose the developer’s concealed fraud, in putting forward a planning application which covered up the fact that there were three family homes within less than 1000m of the turbines proposed for the site – homes that would have been rendered uninhabitable by a cacophony of thumping, pulsing low-frequency turbine noise.
That rather inconvenient set of bricks-and-mortar facts meant that the application could never comply with Victorian planning law. So, the developer did what developers do best: it simply made no mention of them.
Caught out with its convenient little ‘oversight’ when dragged before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the developer sought to fudge it with a last-ditch attempt to amend its planning application. A ruse which was, quite rightly, rejected.
VCAT then knocked over the Planning Minister’s decision to approve the project and rejected the application, outright.
Much to the delight of those who sought to protect their idyllic little patch of Victoria from another clutch of 200m high 300 tonne monsters.
Residents overturn wind farm planning permit at VCAT
8 October 2020
Alberton residents have overturned a planning permit in their battle against the proposed Alberton wind farm.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled that the wind farm’s proponent, Synergy Wind, had breached planning guidelines in its application, and overturned the Planning Minister’s decision from December last year to approve a planning permit.
VCAT found Synergy Wind failed to properly account for three dwellings within the footprint of the windfarm – all of which were less than one kilometre from a proposed turbine – in breach of the Wellington Planning Scheme.
VCAT rejected a request to amend the permit application.
It set aside the minister’s decision, meaning no permit has been granted.
Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien congratulated the Alberton residents for their “stunning victory”.
“This is a great victory for the battler,” he said.
“A large and determined group of residents of the Alberton, Hedley and Gelliondale areas fought hard from the start and didn’t give up, even when the minister approved a permit late last year.
“That they have now successfully defended their district at VCAT is a great credit to them and I’m proud to have played a small role in their campaign.”
Mr O’Brien said the win highlighted the fact developers couldn’t simply come in and override local community wishes or put forward sloppy applications that failed to meet planning guidelines.
“The question remains why Planning Minister Richard Wynne and his department didn’t pick up on these mistakes themselves when approving the permit,” he said.
“I am very concerned that wind farms drive division in small rural communities and shouldn’t be located in relatively densely settled farming or rural living areas, like Alberton.”
via STOP THESE THINGS
October 29, 2020 at 01:31AM