Chepstowe Wind Farm Approved

Chepstowe Wind Farm Approved

Victoria Minister for Planning Matthew Guy

Minister Approves Chepstowe Wind Farm And Responds To Community Concerns

Victor P Taffa

Planning Minister Matthew Guy today announced the go ahead for a three-turbine wind farm in Chepstowe.

“The independent assessment of the Chepstowe wind farm found that the proposal is consistent with the Victorian Coalition Government’s wind farm policy at the time of its submission as well as the recent changes made to the planning schemes.” Mr. Guy said.

“In February 2011, I used my powers to call in the Chepstowe wind farm application before VCAT, as it raised issues about planning policy and the achievement of renewable energy objectives.”

“Senior officers of the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) conducted a thorough investigation of the subject site and surrounding areas and met with all parties associated with the VCAT proceeding. All parties to the proposal had the opportunity to be heard, before a recommendation was made to Governor in Council.” Mr. Guy said.

“This approval responds to concerns raised about potential impacts to local Brolga populations and proposes to locate all potentially hazardous power cables associated with the turbines underground.”

“An Avifauna Management Plan will be prepared to the satisfaction of Pyrenees Shire Council, which will monitor and manage birdlife populations around the site.” Mr. Guy said.

The approval also requires consideration for native vegetation offsets and assurance the facility is compatible with identified environmental values.

“Importantly, the proposal meets the 2010 noise assessment standards.” Mr. Guy said.

The proponent of the wind farm is Future Energy, located adjacent to Chepstowe on Pittong Road, between Skipton and Snake Valley.

The Planning Minister’s decision follows the 2011-12 Victorian Budget commitment of $2.5 Million over the forward estimates to define suitable sites and no-go zones for wind farms and improve definition of significant landscapes.