Council updates community on solar farm project
COFFS Harbour City Council says it is receiving so many enquiries regarding a proposed solar farm at Nana Glen that it would like to clarify for the community the current status and planning process for the project.
The council received a development application for 'Electricity Generating Works' (Solar Farm) at 54, Ferretts Road and 25, Coldwater Creek Road, Nana Glen on November 23.
The proposal is for 50,000 solar panels mounted across the 72 hectare site, located on both sides of Ferretts Rd.
The application also includes other structures associated with the solar farm such as inverters, transformers, a transmission line, a site compound and fencing.
"Such a development is permitted on the site under the Infrastructure State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) 2007," the council advised in a statement today.
An important aspect of this application to note is that, due to the type and value of the development, it is considered 'regional development' and must therefore be finally determined by the State Government's Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), not by council.
"However, although council is not the body that will determine whether the proposal goes ahead or not, council staff are responsible for assessing the application and preparing a report for the planning panel," the council stated.
"Before it goes to the Panel, the report will be presented to councillors at a council meeting simply for their information.
"The current status of this application is that council wrote to the applicant, Rio Indygen Pty Ltd., December 13 requesting more detailed plans of the structures to be built on site, in order to continue the assessment report.
The council advised that the applicant is in the process of responding to this request.
Once detailed plans are provided, the council will formally notify adjoining residents by letter and place advertisements in The Advocate and on Council's Public Notices page of our website, advertising the development application.
Those advertisements and letters will invite the public to consider the application and make submissions.
This process cannot occur until all the appropriate plans are provided.
The time frame for the assessment of this application is expected to be lengthy due to the complexity of the issues and processes required and because additional information has been requested.
Matters raised by the public will be considered in the assessment of the application and by the Planning Panel in its ultimate decision-making.