A large-scale solar farm and associated telecommunications tower near Carisbrook will go ahead after the Central Goldfields Shire Council gave the planning applications a tick of approval this week, despite over 20 objections being received.
At a special meeting on Monday night, more than 30 residents packed the gallery to learn of the council’s decision, which was delayed in December due to the late submission of the telecommunications facility application, with the applications being unanimously passed — sparking outbursts from residents in attendance who slammed the decision and labelled it as a “mistake” and an “offence”.
The planning application, submitted by German engineering company ib vogt GmbH, is to be built on the north side of the Pyrenees Highway approximately 3.5 kilometres east of Carisbrook, near Bald Hill Road. The area is zoned as farm land.
The telecommunications tower will be 35 metres in height and will enable live data to be fed on site to Powercor. The application for the telecommunications tower was for development only.
Twenty six conditions, including amended plans required to be submitted, VicRoads requirements, general amenity, site lighting, noise and electromagnetic interference conditions were placed on the planning application for the solar farm.
The recommendation to approve the telecommunications tower was moved with 19 conditions, including construction management requirements, radio emissions, asset protection and amended plans were also required to be submitted to council.
The solar farm received 18 objections, while the telecommunications tower received three, including one objection representing 11 people.
During the meeting, Central Goldfields Shire general manager infrastructure, assets and planning Rebecca Stockfeld said concerns raised in regards to the solar farm and telecommunications tower include loss of agricultural land and a number of amenity concerns which included light spill to surrounding properties and electromagnetic radiation.
“There are a small number of properties that will be impacted by the development of the solar farm and telecommunications facility, mainly due to the facility impacting the view outlook and I recognise that a change in view will be noticed, but in planning terms it is not considered an unreasonable change,” she said.
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Friday, February 8