Gullen Range Wind Farm Modification Application (October)

Gullen Range Wind Farm

3rd October 2015

The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has made its decision on the Gullen Range Wind Farm modification application. The PAC did not impose any conditions on the project despite DPE recommending approval based on a set of conditions. The PAC refused to approve the modification application but did not examine the consistency of the project with the current approval.

The existing Project Approval granted by the Land and Environment Court remains in force. In making their decision it is GRWF’s view that the PAC has misunderstood and misapplied the “Draft NSW Planning Guidelines: Wind Farms”.

The PAC has effectively relinquished its role in considering the modification; the PAC had the opportunity to apply specific conditions but did not. This leaves Gullen Range Wind Farm to continue to rely on the existing project approval.

Gullen Range Wind Farm (GRWF) remains of the view that the project, as constructed, is consistent with the existing project approval and that a modification application was not required. The existing approval provides flexibility about the final location of turbines. Finalising the wind turbines locations on large wind farms is a normal and necessary aspect of wind farm construction. The
consistency of the final turbine locations with those assessed as part of the original approval is supported by several consistency reviews, expert planning, visual, noise and other assessments. Details of these assessments are available in the modification application on the DPE website.

GRWF has been carefully focussed on compliance with the Gullen Range Wind Farm Project Approval since commencing the project. A DPE approved Environmental Representative has reviewed each stage of project construction to ensure compliance with the project approval.

GRWF will continue the project under the terms of the existing project approval. Gullen Range Wind Farm is the largest wind farm in NSW, extending over 25km with 73 wind turbines and has resulted in substantial local employment, work for local businesses and investment in local roads.

Agreement was reached on 22nd August 2014 with the local road authority (Upper Lachlan Shire Council) for a substantial package of road remediation works that fully satisfied GRWF obligations under the Project Approval.