Cape Bridgewater – Health Farm Proposal Delayed, Portland Observer, 2002

Portland Observer – Health farm proposal delayed
Originally written by ROXANNE PUNTON

Pacific Hydro complains that “the Portland Wind Energy Project and health farm would be incompatible because of the potential noise and nuisance during construction and normal operations of the wind farm over a period of at least 25 years

THE $5.4 million health farm proposed for Cape Bridgewater will be delayed at least until next year after appeals against the planning permit were made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Portland Wind Energy Project proponents Pacific Hydro and the National Trust of Australia will force the proposed health farm development to VCAT.

A planning permit was issued by Glenelg Shire Council in September for the health farm to be built at Cape Bridgewater, off Blowholes Rd, by proponents Conrock Industries.

However, Pacific Hydro has lodged an appeal with VCAT, claiming the proposal conflicts with the PWEP.

The hearing is not expected to be before January.

Pacific Hydro environmental planning manager Roger Holloway made the objection on behalf of the company, citing reasons for the objection included:

The land use conflicts with the PWEP and, in particular, the development and operation of wind generators in the ‘Blowholes Cluster’ at Cape Bridgewater;

Approval of the health farm would reduce flexibility to resolve siting and design issues for the wind farm in the vicinity of Blowholes Rd and the carpark area;

The PWEP and health farm would be incompatible because of the potential noise and nuisance during construction and normal operations of the wind farm over a period of at least 25 years;

Action to redesign the PWEP to make it compatible with the health farm would result in the removal of up to seven proposed wind generators. This would severely jeopardise the viability of the PWEP and thereby remove the benefits of greenhouse gas abatement;

The health farm is generally inconsistent with proper planning for the area, and contrary to state and local planning policies in the area,

The proposed health farm is contrary to pre-existing legal arrangements between the parties relating to the future use and development of the relevant land.

The submission by Pacific Hydro also raised concerns that the conditions of the permit were insufficient to protect the clients and occupants of the health farm from the potential noise and nuisance arising from the wind farm, and the conditions were insufficient to protect the wind farm owners, developer and operators from legal or statutory action by clients, occupants, owners and operators of the proposed health farm.

Glenelg Shire town planner Bernie Wilder said 23 conditions had been placed on the planning permit which included provisions for noise from the wind farms.

Conditions included: compliance with Aboriginal Affairs, which may require an archaeologist checking the site while excavating is being conducted; the principals in the Australian Standards be used to protect occupants adjacent to the wind turbines from noise; landscaping plans to be approved by the Glenelg Shire Council and supplementary plantings to use indigenous plantings; colour schemes and materials used in the development were to protect the heritage values of the area.

A VCAT spokeswomen said the appeal was in the initial stages and VCAT was waiting for further information from the Glenelg Shire Council.

She said cases being lodged now were being listed for January.

A Conrock Industries spokesman said they received notification on Thursday about the VCAT appeal and would consider their options this week.

He said they would “like to proceed but it just depends”.

Suggested posts:

1. $5.4m health resort draws a step closer
2. $5.4mill health resort proposed
3. Wind farm guidelines will reduce red tape … but won’t affect process for Portland wind farms
4. Council supports wind farm proposal
5. Thumbs down to wind farm policy

Download the report from the Portland Observer →