Up to 25 wind turbines should be removed from the Rye Park Wind Farm plan in order to maintain the rural character of the local village, a Department of Planning and Environment assessment has found.
The independent Planning Assessment Commission (the Commission) will now consider the Department’s assessment report which finds the project could be approved with proposed changes to the number of turbines and with 68 stringent conditions.
Mike Young, Director of Resource Assessments, said the Department recommends 25 wind turbines should be removed from the original 109 proposed.
“This includes 16 turbines proposed to be located near Rye Park village and nine turbines from another area which could impact some nearby households,” Mr Young said.
“After consulting with an independent visual analysis expert, the Department found the proposed wind turbine plan would adversely impact the rural character of the village and views of the local landscape.
“We also found that the Rye Park Wind Farm proposal would still make a substantial contribution to the development of renewable energy in NSW, even if these recommended changes to the wind turbine were applied.”
Mr Young highlighted that the project had the potential to generate enough renewable wind energy every year to power 100,000 homes if the remaining 84 turbines were approved.
“Other benefits include generating more than 250 construction jobs and 12 ongoing jobs, income for some landowners and a yearly contribution of more than $200,000 to the local councils for community projects,” he said.
“We consider every application on its merits under the planning legislation and clear NSW Government guidelines. Public feedback is also an important of our assessment.”
The strict conditions have been recommended to manage a range of issues considered during the assessment, including strict noise limits, offsets for clearing of trees and upgrades to the local road network.
The Department received 130 submissions during the public exhibition for the project in 2014, and a further 240 submissions when changes to the project were publicly exhibited between May and July last year.
The Commission will now consider the Department’s assessment report and make the final decision on the project.
06.03.2017 | pdf | 77.7 KB