We wrote back in August about the opposition the Bookaar Solar Farm in Camperdown was experiencing from residents, and on Wednesday they were pleased to see the application for the farm rejected by the Corangamite Shire. Usually we’re pretty down on ostensible NIMBYism like people opposing solar farms, but this one needs a few adjustments before it’s suitable.
Bookaar Solar Farm Rejected
The Bookaar Solar Farm was a joint project between Infinergy Pacific and the McArthur family who own the land. It was to feature 700,000 solar panels to generate 200MW – developed by Bookaar Renewables Pty Ltd.
After the meeting rejecting their proposal, a spokesperson said “We’ll take some time to review the decision” so we’ll have to wait and see what happens
According to the ABC, the list of concerns the Bookaar Solar Farm opponents listed was many and varied:
- Visual Amenity
- Road use during construction.
- Glint and flare
- Firerisk and firefighting access concerns.
- Night lighting effects
- Wildlife impact
- Drainage issues
- Nearby property devaluations
- Micro-climate changes
Councillor Simon Illingworth discussed the issues at a meeting of the Corangamite Shire on Tuesday to see if the farm should go ahead:
“(the solar farm is) not a bad proposal but it’s in an inappropriate locality”.
“There’s been a lot of emotion and finger-pointing in this, but strip that out and it’s a planning decision,” Cr Trotter said.
“In a planning sense, it’s a lineball call, but I will come down on the side of the community.”
Other councillors discussed how they have no guidance from the State Government – in stark opposition to wind farms, which require approval by the state planning minister. Solar farm approval falls to local government who are often….less knowledgeable than they could be about issues like this.
Local dairy farmer in Bookaar, Andrew Dynhoven, had some interesting things to say from an opponent’s perspective:
“I’m not against solar,” he said.
“I’m investigating solar to go on my dairy because we are a big user of power.
“But it’s been indicated now by this decision that there’s not enough governance, or regulation, or information for us or for councils.”
We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know if Bookaar Renewables Pty Ltd decide to challenge this decision or put in a new application!