Council to ask minister to rule on Inverleigh energy farm application
Published on 25 May 2018
Surf Coast Shire Council has resolved to seek ruling from the Victorian Planning Minister on an application for a solar energy plant to be integrated with a wind farm proposed for near Inverleigh.
A decision on application for the wind farm automatically rests with the Victorian Government.
A ruling on the solar plant would ordinarily rest with the Council, but it will ask Planning Minister Richard Wynne to consider both applications together to avoid risk of confusion in the community and potentially costly duplication of processes.
The project proponent has indicated that the solar farm will not proceed if the wind farm is not approved, as its sub-station is required for both.
“We hope that the minister will agree to our request so assessment of the applications can be as streamlined as possible,” Mayor Cr David Bell said.
“Consideration of this as one integrated facility would result in the most orderly planning process and outcome, given the likelihood of high public interest in the project.
“Having people responding on one part of the proposal with us and another part of the proposal with the minister could potentially become unwieldy and confusing.”
Councillors voted at their 22 May meeting in favour of asking the minister to adjudicate on both applications.
External consultation on the wind farm proposal, for Mount Pollock south of Inverleigh, has not yet been undertaken because the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has requested further information.
Community members will have opportunity to make submissions to the minister on the proposal, and all property owners within five kilometres of the proposed development will have to be notified.