Council welcomes VCAT decision on Bookaar Solar Farm

Published on 16 August 2019

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Corangamite Shire Council has welcomed a decision by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to refuse a planning permit for Bookaar Solar Farm, near Camperdown.

In handing down its decision, VCAT pointed to a lack of information around drainage and bushfire management in the application submitted by Bookaar Renewables Pty Ltd.

The application proposed up to 700,000 solar panels be installed on a 558 hectare site at the Meningoort property.

Mayor Neil Trotter said Council’s original decision to refuse a planning permit back in September 2018 was based around similar concerns.

“The VCAT finding upholds Council’s decision on the matter in September last year,” Cr Trotter said.

“The proposal was for a major facility of substantial scale and size.

“As a Council, we felt there needed to be more detail in the planning documentation provided and there were significant issues around drainage and fire control that had not been adequately addressed.

“Loss of agricultural land and community opposition were also contributing factors,” Cr Trotter said.

Council received more than 80 objections to the proposal.

In its report, VCAT emphasised there was strong State planning policy support for renewable energy facilities, and that the applicant could consider a fresh proposal to address all concerns in the findings.