New South Wales
To the NSW Department of Planning and Environment,
I strongly object to the Gunnedah Solar farm on Orange Grove road. As
a `sensitive receiver' located on Tudgey Road, in an elevated position
close to the proposed site I have a number of issues.
Firstly, we have recently purchased our house and 100-acre block,
which we have spent our lives working towards and which is planned to
be our forever home. We paid a premium price for our block
understanding the zoning laws and looking forward to enjoying our
quiet rural lifestyle with few neighbours, and an amazing ever
changing patchwork view of cotton, wheat, canola and grazing cattle.
Now we are faced with overlooking a veritable sea of reflecting,
glaring solar panels as far as the eye can see. It will be a totally
unavoidable eyesore and it makes me feel ill to my stomach picturing
it. Our right to the quiet enjoyment of our property has been
shattered by this proposal, and if it were to go ahead, for my own
mental wellbeing, we could not stay here and would have to sell. We
have spoken to a local land valuer who is familiar with our property
and he has stated that we can expect to lose 10-15% of our property
value if this solar farm goes ahead. Photon have made it clear that
they will not be responsible for any loss in land values if this is to
occur. Photon have admitted that planting trees will not mitigate our
visual impact due to our elevation.
I am also objecting on the grounds of flooding. A flood plain is not
the place for a structure involving a security fence of this height. I
believe the flood modelling that has been done is faulty, and I
suspect that Pitt and Sherry have been paid to get this proposal over
the line and have minimised the impacts of the flood levels to do so.
They have omitted very important flood level information such as the
"Carroll to Boggabri Flood Study" which they cunningly mention but
don't use the flood levels from. Why wasn't more accurate flood
modelling done using LiDar? The technology that was used for the
modelling, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (STRM), is known to be
accurate to 9 metres. This level of accuracy is totally unacceptable
when surrounding neighbours' farms, livestock and very lives may be
impacted. Upon meeting and listening to local farmers who have seen or
have recorded generations of floods in this area, it is worryingly
clear that even a 10 cm change in irrigation bank heights have the
power to considerably change the flow of floodwater, so how can a
2-metre-high chain lock fence filled with flood debris not be
considered a danger when it will most certainly affect the flood
levels to a huge extent?
I also object to the noise during construction. To my knowledge, no
levels were ever measured from our home, and being nestled at the base
of a hill it will be like an echo chamber listening to a pole driver
all day. I have small children who need to sleep during the day and I
also study from home.
I object to prime irrigation farmland being degraded for a project
that is able to so easily go elsewhere, only for the fact it will cost
Photon more money to get the power to the grid. As a supporter of
renewable energy, I urge the State Government to see sense and come up
with a long-term strategic plan and rules for where and how Solar
farms can be placed in NSW, so that we are not sacrificing our
thriving and ever diminishing agricultural land, and can still embrace
Solar in sensible and well thought out locations.