The $32 million solar-farm proposal in Bomen has been rejected following the Southern Regional Planning Panel meeting on Tuesday.
The meeting at Wagga City Council Chambers had representatives of Terrain Solar, the project applicant, attending and addressing questions by those in attendance.
Issues in which the applicant, the planning panel and speakers discussed included the balance between using the land for agriculture and renewable energy and potential impacts of the project.
The latter include noise, visual, biodiversity, safety and security, fire hazards and rehabilitation.
Terrain Solar’s co-founder Simon Ingram said that while they accepted the decision, he still thought the project “is great for Wagga and the impacts can be well managed”.
“We still believe it’s very important,” he said.
“It’s about the respect for the decision and the decision making process,” Mr Ingram said.
“We’ll reconvene and determine our options form here.”
More than 40 people registered to speak, including Eunony Valley Association president Bill Shulz.
Mr Schulz explained the process that EVA experienced in the past 10 months, beginning when the project’s DA was submitted to Wagga City Council.
He said there were little responses from Wagga City Council in relation to a number of requests for meetings.
“This council is in conflict of interest with its own development application,” he said.
In its assessment report, the council recommended the project for approval subject to conditions.
The project was proposed to have a lifespan of 25–30 years after which the installation will be decommissioned and the land rehabilitated.
Construction period was set to be 12 months with up to 100 workers and 20 heavy vehicles during peak periods.
Prior to the meeting, members of the panel visited the site of the proposed project.
Regional panel chair Alison McCabe said it was “to re-familarise ourselves with it”.
SJRPP adjourned yesterday for consideration following the speakers’ presentations and returned at about 3.30pm to deliver their decision.