The Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is reviewing the planning regulations for renewable energy developments. The existing "State Code 23" sets the rules against which wind farm development applications are assessed.
The proposed changes include:
- assessment criteria to better protect threatened species and habitats;
- requirements for erosion and run off planning, particularly during the construction phase, and rehabilitation of areas not needed for operations;
- decommissioning outcomes; and
- bringing acoustic requirements into line with best practice.
Amongst the proposed changes, developers are to decommission certain works within a “timely manner”. Though an improvement, landholders should continue to seek firm decommissioning commitments, including as to timing and funding, in their agreements with renewable energy project proponents.
There are no proposed changes to noise limits on host and neighbouring properties. However, greater emphasis has been placed on the need for noise impact assessments and noise monitoring.
Thynne + Macartney’s agriculture lawyers are committed to supporting the interests of landholders as the laws around competing and complimentary land uses continue to evolve.