20 October 2020

Multi-million dollar wind farm near Crookwell wins court case

| Hannah Sparks
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Crookwell 2 Wind Farm.

The Crookwell 2 Wind Farm in the NSW Southern Tablelands. Photo: Supplied.

The NSW Land and Environment Court has given the green light to a controversial multi-million dollar wind farm in the NSW Southern Tablelands.

Crookwell Development Pty Ltd, owned by Global Power Generation (GPG) Australia, will be allowed to construct 16 wind farms near the regional town of Crookwell after the court upheld its appeal on Wednesday, 14 October.

The legal proceedings began after Crookwell 3 Wind Farm was rejected by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment in October 2019.

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The $120 million project was considered and refused by the Independent Planning Commission amid community opposition. Concerns surrounded the visual impact on multiple dwellings and the impact on the landscape.

“The community expressed concern that wind farm projects will transform the landscape from an attractive rural landscape towards an industrial landscape dominated by wind turbines,” said the Independent Planning Commission.

Crookwell residents are already surrounded by multiple wind farms, including Crookwell Wind Farm, Biala Wind Farm and Gullen Range Wind Farm.

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However, in court in August, GPG and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment agreed to a scaled-down version of the development, and new plans were drawn up.

The proponent had originally applied to construct 23 turbines on two sites, with 17 turbines on land east of Woodhouselee Road, known as the Eastern Cluster, and six turbines south of Crookwell Road, known as the Southern Cluster.

However, the parties agreed that no turbines should be constructed in the Southern Cluster. It was also agreed that one of the 17 turbines in the Eastern Cluster shouldn’t be approved, leaving 16 to be approved.

The project is considered state significant because it has a capital investment value of more than $30 million.

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