Council Formalises Opinion about Solar Farm outside Uralla

Published on 13 March 2019

13 March 2019

Council Formalises Opinion about Solar Farm outside Uralla

Uralla Shire Council resolved to make two submissions to the proposed 2,700 hectare New England Solar Farm planned to be located on farming land 6klm east of Uralla.

The application for the solar farm is of ‘state significance’ as a consequence of the overall value of the project and because of this it will be assessed by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and not the Council.

At an Extraordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 12 March, Councillors and a public gallery of 45 people, heard from speakers for and against the proposal.  All speakers acknowledged the importance of renewable energy production, however some felt part of the proposed development should be reconsidered to reduce impacts.

Council debated the project for two hours and resolved to make two submissions to the DPE.  The first will be a strategic submission requesting the State Government to have due regard to Council’s Community Strategic Plan and its key elements which relate to balancing development and the environment.  The second will be a technical submission which identifies the relevant conditions for the protection of infrastructure and amenity during the construction, operation and decommissioning of the proposed project, should it be approved.

 

Mayor Michael Pearce said he had anticipated the meeting would attract several community members to the public gallery due to opposing views about the proposal and he noted their exemplary behaviour.  “This has been and may continue to be a challenging period for some community members.” said the Mayor.  “This application is being assessed by the State Government and Council will submit what I believe to be balanced and responsible submissions.  We will need to wait and see how the State responds to the application”.

Council’s submission to the Department of Planning and Environment will be available on our website after 20 March 2019.

 [ENDS]

Jane Ogden – Coordinator Community Development and Engagement

Andrew Hopkins – General Manager

For further information contact: Matt Clarkson, Manager of Development and Planning. 02 6778 6300