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Solar farm approved south of Crookwell

A PLANNING panel has approved a $25 million solar farm, south of Crookwell.

The owners of the Gullen Range Wind Farm yesterday (Thursday) won approval for the 11 megawatt solar farm on Storriers Lane, 17km from the town.

The Southern Regional Planning Panel endorsed the project during a sitting at Crookwell, chaired by Allen Grimwood.

The project includes 40,000 photovoltaic solar panels on mounted structures, with dimensions one metre by two metres and standing three to four metres high. The development covers 25 to 30 hectares on an area of land next to the wind farm.

In an April sitting, the panel deferred a decision for more information including: the exact size, location and layout of the solar panels; buildings and infrastructure needed to support the project; details of the vegetation and biodiversity loss; a revised visual analysis; a revised noise report; more clarity on which lots the application related to and details of legal arrangements for access across sites that are not part of the development site.

Residents John Benjamin, David Brooks and Bill Johnson spoke against the development at the time.

In a submission to Thursday’s hearing, Upper Lachlan Shire Council agreed to conditional approval.

Mr Grimwood said the decision was made after hearing community and stakeholder submissions.

“The development will contribute to sustainable energy production, and to the local economy through employment generated through construction and operation. Subject to the conditions we’ve imposed, the panel is satisfied that the impacts of the development will be effectively managed and mitigated,” he said.

The Planning Panel approved the application, subject to conditions, including limits on hours of construction, vehicle movements and planting a tree screen to soften the visual impact on neighbouring properties.

The panel also changed the conditions regarding landscaping around the site, and added a condition requiring the operator to keep a complaints register.

Golwind’s senior manager of projects, John Gardner told the Post last year that the project would create about 100 jobs and employ local subcontractors during construction.

Source: Goulburn Post


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