St Clair wind farm closer

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St Clair wind farm closer

THE 15-turbine wind farm at St Clair has come a step closer.
St Clair is on the outskirts of Wonthaggi.
The site is bordered by Lynnes, Kirrak and Shepherd roads.
According to the website of developer Synergy Wind, the turbines will be 120m to 130m tall.
That’s twice the height of the turbines at Toora.
Bass Coast Council planning director Hannah Duncan-Jones, said council officers had met with Synergy Wind representatives ahead of them lodging a planning
application.
She said Synergy Wind had committed to running workshops to tell the community about the wind farm. These will be held early next year.
Objecting to the proposal, Bass MLA Ken Smith, said the company had not ruled out expanding the project to 25 turbines.
He also pointed to recent studies of the health effects of living near wind turbines as a “major concern”.
Health impacts and the height of the turbines are a big worry for Robert Atkinson, who is a third generation beef farmer on Lynnes Road.
He said his home would be one of the closest to the turbines, nearly 1km away.
When he read the developer’s draft planning submission to Bass Coast Council, he was horrified by it.
The sheer size alarmed him.
“I’m not an architect,” he said, but he estimated the height to be the equivalent of a 40 storey building.
At that height, they will be highly visible from Wonthaggi.
Other residents put their objections to Mr Smith in October and Mr Atkinson said there will be meetings between residents and Bass Coast councillors.
He described the wind farm as “totally inappropriate” for the area.
“I’m concerned and so are a lot of other people. There will be pretty universal opposition.”
Mr Atkinson said the State Government was keen on renewable energy and “that’s fine with me, but there should be a 2km setback”.
He does not think enough is known about the health impacts of living near wind turbines. And while there is no scientific evidence to say that wind farms have an adverse effect on health, he would far rather there was scientific evidence to say they were not a problem.
“It’s a bit late once they’re built.
“I wish the government was not so intent on imposing these on people.”
Mr Atkinson said he was not rabidly against wind energy, but thought the emphasis should be on solar power.
Mr Smith said a study by a South Australian GP Dr Sarah Laurie, had shown that noise disturbance, sleep deprivation, headaches, increased blood pressure, body vibrations and tachycardia (fast or irregular heart beat) could all be symptoms of wind turbine syndrome.
Synergy Wind’s website states the St Clair site “contains excellent wind yields due to its proximity to strong south coastal wind”.
Being 5kms east of the existing Wonthaggi Wind Farm, “It will cement this region of Victoria as a key area for promoting wind energy.”
The website said the land is privately owned and “suitable agreements” are in place with the owner.
“Turbine layout has been chosen so that the amenity of neighbours will not be unreasonably affected.”
The 15 turbines will be about 500m apart.

Short URL: http://www.thestar.com.au/?p=276

Posted by SiteAdmin on Nov 16 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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