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Wind farm applicant to appeal denial

NOT BLOWN OVER YET: The backer of a wind farm at Dalveen plans to take the Southern Downs Regional Council to court over its refusal of the plan.
NOT BLOWN OVER YET: The backer of a wind farm at Dalveen plans to take the Southern Downs Regional Council to court over its refusal of the plan. File

DALVEEN wind farm proponent Tim Lucas says he still plans to appeal the Southern Downs Regional Council's refusal of the plan even though nothing has been formally lodged yet with the courts.

The wind farm was knocked back by the council at its October meeting, after scores of residents objected to eight wind turbines being located at the proposed site on Rabbit Ridge Rd.

Mr Lucas has until close of business today to lodge an appeal with the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland and told the Daily News he was confident it would proceed.

Councils normally try to deal with planning appeals outside of court through mediation to avoid a full-blown court hearing, which can be costly for ratepayers.

Mr Lucas said of the 71 objectors, only eight lived within 2km of the site.

He was confident noise assessments, carried out as part of the application to the council, would stand up in court.

He also said the turbines would be a tourist attraction, as well as a source of renewable energy for Stanthorpe.

Among the main concerns shared by residents was the potential for excess noise and the resultant impact on lifestyle and property values.

Leading the "no" case in the council was Cr Jamie Mackenzie, who said while the windmill was an icon of rural Australia, the proposal was for turbines 10-15 times above the tree canopy "with noise impacts that cannot be satisfactorily attenuated".

"If we have to have wind farms, let's have them in windy, remote locations, not in a neighbourhood of small rural lots," Cr Mackenzie said.

He recommended the application be refused as it was contrary to the strategic provisions of the planning scheme.

"No conditions could be imposed to mitigate negative amenity impacts of wind turbines," Cr Mackenzie said.

"It would also create an undesirable precedent for high impact renewable energy developments in comparatively densely settled rural areas."

Topics:  southern downs regional council