Neighbours vow to fight solar plans
NEIGHBOURS overlooking land earmarked for multiple solar farms spanning 5.5km vow they will fight plans until the end if the need arises.
In what they’re likening to the storyline out of the famous Australian movie ‘The Castle’, residents are out to protect their “serenity” and their pride and joy - their homes.
Up to three solar farms are being proposed for land along Glenrowan-Winton Road crossing the borderline of both the Wangaratta and Benalla rural cities from Glenrowan West Road to the Winton power substation.
About six of 10 nearby landholders at this stage have confirmed they will object to a 120 megawatt solar farm which is proposed for 245 hectares of land in the Rural City of Wangaratta between Glenrowan West Road and Chivers Road.
Bev Bresanello has lived on 20 acres of land for 28 years, a location that directly adjoins a proposed ESCO Pacific development.
She’s greatly concerned that her property would devalue if the solar farm is approved due to a loss of rural amenity and quality of lifestyle.
Her neighbours Glen and Noel Cutler have 4.6 acres across the road from Bev and they are emotionally distraught by the plans.
Council yesterday confirmed that a development approval application had not yet been submitted.
ESCO Pacific told the Wangaratta Chronicle they delayed lodgement so they could address concerns from neighbouring landholders.
“We expect to make the application by the end of next week,” ESCO Pacific head of development Allison Hawke said.
FRV Services Australia is proposing an 85MW solar farm 3km southwest of Winton on a 250 hectare site, adjoining the Winton power grid.
It’s believed a third solar farm is planned for the immediate south side of Chivers Road between the two, setting up for a large scale solar catchment area.
Overland Sun Farming is the developer with this project.
Mrs Bresanello has horses and some cattle on her property and she lists a string of reasons why she and her neighbours will fight the ESCO Pacific solar farm application as best they can.
“We all bought our lifestyle properties, they’re our life and we don’t want to see this ruined by the solar farm,” she said.
“One of the things council won’t recognise is the devaluation and the difficulty in selling our properties, it will affect us all.
“It is spot on like the movie ‘The Castle’ and it’s one of the first things we mentioned when we found out.”
The residents, who say they are not against solar power, believe that it is the wrong place to position a solar farm on agricultural land.
Mr and Mrs Cutler moved to Glenrowan later in life for the health and wellbeing benefits and they believe the solar farm would be “a ruination of an environment”.
“We wanted to be in a rural setting and that’s what we bought, we didn’t want paddocks of glass looking at us,” Mrs Cutler said.
Fire hazard, dust, weed spray drift, noise from the inverters and the magnification of traffic sounds are all possible issues the neighbours have flagged for rebuttal.
We wanted to be in a rural setting... we didn’t want paddocks of glass looking at us. - Glen Cutler
BAD VIBES: Glenrowan lifestyle property owners Bev Bresanello (front, right), with son-in-law Jack Wind, and Glen and Noel Cutler will stand against plans to build a solar farm on land pictured behind them.