A report and recommendation on the proposed Baringhup Solar Farm will soon be handed down to the Victorian Minister for Planning following three public hearings held by Planning Panels Victoria (PPV) last month.
The solar farm was submitted to Mount Alexander Shire late last year and has been a contentious issue.
The $195 million facility was proposed to be built on a 292 hectare site on Baringhup West Road and would house around 260,000 solar panels.
After receiving 16 objections from local landholders and interested parties and a pro forma objection with 250 signatures opposing the development earlier this year, Mount Alexander Shire Council passed on responsibility for the approval of the project to the state planning minister.
The minister then instructed PPV to run the planning permit application process and last month, planning panels held two independent hearings in Maldon on July 15 and 16, and a third in Baringhup on July 23.
The sessions heard statements from objectors, the applicant and council representatives who were able to raise concerns about issues including the visual impact of the farm, inadequate public notice, loss of productive agricultural land and impact on native wildlife.
For more on this story see Page 4 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, August 13