RN’s planning permit application due for display

Renewable Newstead’s application for a planning permit to build a small-scale solar farm to supply our community with renewable energy is set to go on public display for everyone to read.

The application provides for a solar farm of up to 9MW about 3km west of Newstead at the corner of Captain Gully Rd and Clarkes Lane. It will have up to 27,400 panels that track the sun. The application outlines the proposed buffer areas between the farm and roads and includes assessments of the farm’s impact on agriculture, heritage, flora and fauna, the landscape, aviation and other aspects.

COVID-19 restrictions meant we couldn’t get everyone together at the community centre as we otherwise would have to update the community about the site, how and why it was selected and the next steps we’ll now need to take.

Instead we ran a webinar online on July 1 and drop-in sessions at the Rural Transaction Centre early last month for those who couldn’t join the webinar or who had further queries. Twelve people called in to learn more about the solar farm and to ask about matters ranging from the solar farm’s scope and scale, traffic during construction and landscaping and the timeline for construction.

Some key points about RN’s proposed solar farm are that it will be:

  • commercially viable and grid-connected
  • managed by a retail partner for locals to opt in (or not)
  • constructed and managed by a commercial partner
  • day time (renewable) energy use will be rewarded with cheaper rates

The decision to approve, or not, the planning permit will be made by the Victorian Planning Minister. (This is not a local Mount Alexander Shire Council decision.)

When officially released by the Minister, the application will be available online and at the RTC.

People will have 28 days from its posting to submit formal objections. Renewable Newstead is also available to respond to any queries about the application.

To view the application:

  • visit the RN website renewablenewstead.com.au
  • visit the DELWP website https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/permits-and-applications/ministerial-permits/browse-ministerial-permits?query=newstead#MinisterialPermits–PA2000883
  • visit the Newstead Rural Transaction Centre (hard copies for inspection)
  • email Project Co-ordinator Kirsty Mackay e: kirsty.mackay@iinet.net.au

RN’s meetings on the first Monday of each month (online at 7pm) are open to community members. The next one is Aug 3.  Please email Kirsty to register to attend so she can send you an invitation.

For more info about the project, call Geoff Park 0418 138 632, Don Culvenor on 0427 573 536 or Genevieve Barlow on 0427 762633.

Subscribe to RN’s mailing list for updates by emailing info@renewablenewstead.com.au