The Department of Planning and Environment has referred Crookwell 3 Wind Farm to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) for final decision, saying it should be refused due to significant cumulative visual impacts on the landscape and residents.
Mike Young, Executive Director of Resource Assessments, said the proposal is for the construction and operation of a new wind farm with 23 turbines up to 157 metres in height approximately five kilometres from Crookwell in the Southern Highlands.
“There’s strong support for renewable energy in NSW and the Government is backing the industry’s development including with guidance on assessment of impacts, community engagement and more,” he said.
“We considered this project on its merits, and our recommendation to refuse it draws on extensive community consultation and advice from an independent visual expert.
“The proposal is right next door to the Crookwell 2 Wind Farm, built by the same proponent. Some people would be able to see five wind farms from their front door.
“When it comes to visual impact, lots of factors need to be considered – from windfarm distance to residential areas to distracting blade glint and turbine flicker.
“We acknowledge the proponent has made changes to reduce impacts and has reached agreement with a number of landowners, but our independent visual expert has advised there would still be significant visual impacts on up to 27 residences.
”Mr Young said the NSW Wind Energy Framework, introduced by the NSW Government in 2016, set clear and consistent rules for wind farm development.
“The Framework recommends turbines this size should be more than 2.1 kilometres from residences, but in this case 17 of the 23 proposed turbines are less than that,with some residences as close as 1.1 kilometre.
“The proposal is also inconsistent with local planning controls, which classify more than two-thirds of the proposed site as an environmental management zone. Overall,our assessment concluded the site is fundamentally not suitable for a large-scale wind farm.
The IPC will review the Department’s assessment before making its final decision. Read the Department’s assessment report and reasons for refusal of the proposed Wind Farm at the Department’s Major Projects website.
As at 9 April 2019: