Planning & Environment
The Planning Process
WinterbourneWind will be seeking State Significant Development (SSD) Consent under Division 4.7 of part 4 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) for the project. This requires a detailed Environmental Impact Statement to be prepared in accordance with the NSW Government’s Wind Energy Framework.
The Scoping Report
WinterbourneWind lodged a Scoping Report for the project to the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) in September 2020. The Scoping Report provided a description of the project and identified the scale and types of associated potential impacts and benefits
DPE reviewed the Scoping Report and sought comment from local Councils and government agencies regarding further assessment requirements. The feedback from these agencies was incorporated into the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for this project, which were issued in September 2020.
Environmental Impact Statement
The SEARs set out the requirements for detailed studies on potential visual, noise, biodiversity, traffic, cultural heritage and other environmental and social impacts associated with the project. The results of these studies, together with feedback from the local community and stakeholders, has inform the project’s design and is documented in the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The (EIS) for the project was submitted to DPE in November 2022. The EIS was on public exhibition from mid-November 2022 until late January 2023. DPE received 948 public submissions during this period, with 498 supporting submissions, 438 objections, and 12 comments. Submissions were also received from four local Councils and 17 state government agencies.
The next step in the permitting process is to prepare a Submissions Report which responds to the public and agency submissions received during the EIS exhibition period. We are currently working on the Submissions Report which will be prepared in accordance with the State Significant Development Guidelines – Preparing a Submissions Report. A key objective of the Submissions Report will be to provide further information to the public and government agencies to address questions about the proposal, and to identify opportunities to mitigate potential project impacts.
Preliminary field surveys identified the known or likely presence of some species listed as threatened under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, including the Spotted Quoll and the Koala. WinterbourneWind referred the proposed action to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in accordance with the EPBC Act and the project has been determined to be a controlled action, and will therefore require assessment and a decision under the EPBC Act. WinterbourneWind will undertake further detailed assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed project to ensure any potential negative impacts to key animal and plant species and communities are carefully considered and addressed.