Buloke Shire has approved a planning permit for a five-turbine wind farm spanning 5.t hectares at Coonooer Bridge, west of Bendigo..It is the first wind farm planning permit approved since 2011 when the Victorian Government introduced tough planning laws that prohibit turbines being built within 2 kilometres of homes without the written consent of the owner.
Windlab Systems is the majority shareholder in the project but all neighbouring landholders, within a 3 kilometre radius, have taken up shares in the wind farm. The project will also include a community grant scheme to invest back into local community initiatives.
Project Director, Luke Osborne, said that "Wind energy has always enjoyed strong support from landholders with windy hills but for neighbouring landholders, the benefits often seem to stop at the boundary fence. Twelve months ago the project team set out to take a new approach. We wanted to create a fair and open relationship all landholders not just the landowners who would lease land for turbines."