Local governments previously were required to assess wind farm development however, few local government planning schemes had the appropriate planning provisions required for such a complex development. The Wind Farm Code and Guideline published in July 2016 will support the role of the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government, and Planning (DILGP) via the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA), as the new assessment manager for all wind farm proposals in Queensland.
The purpose of the creation of the Wind Farm State Code is to protect people, communities, and the environment from any adverse impacts from the construction, operation and decommissioning of a wind farm development and applies to a material change of use for a new or expanding wind farm.
The guideline will assist applicants in preparing development applications for wind farm proposals as well as providing assistance in responding to performance outcomes. The code and guideline were developed using expert technical advice, review of recent and emerging research and national and international best practice along with widespread consultation with key stakeholders.
The code requires that wind farms should be appropriately located, designed, and operated to ensure;
the safety, operational integrity and efficiency of air services and aircraft operations,
risks to human health, wellbeing and quality of life are minimised by ensuring acceptable levels of amenity and acoustic emissions at sensitive land uses,
development avoids, or minimises and mitigates, adverse impacts on the natural environment (fauna and flora) and associated ecological processes,
development does not unreasonably impact on the character, scenic amenity, and landscape values of the locality, and
safe and efficient operation of local transport networks and road infrastructure.
Site selection for a new wind farm is complex and needs to ensure that all aspects of the code have been adequately considered, before entering any property transactions. Ardent Group has extensive experience in assisting clients select sites that satisfy all regulatory requirements, to ensure a smooth path towards gaining the relevant approvals.
Queensland Wind Farm State Code
The Queensland Government has the intention of increasing the production and use of renewable energy throughout the state with wind energy a key component in achieving greater renewable energy use. Wind farms are a significant development and must be carefully considered and balanced against the three core objectives of;
The Queensland Government has acknowledged the requirement for a consistent, coordinated, whole-of-government approach to assessing wind farm development across the State.