Badgingarra Wind Farm

REQUEST FOR EXTENSION TO PLANNING APPROVAL – BADGINGARRA WIND FARM

Badgingarra moora, dandaragan Locality
 
Applicant: APA Group
File Ref: Development Services App / Development Application / 2012 / 60
Disclosure of Interest: None
Date: 11 October 2014
Author: Barbara Macaulay, Planning Officer
Signature of Author:
Senior Officer:  Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Signature of Senior Officer:
 
BADGINGARRA WIND FARM
 
PROPOSAL
The applicant is seeking a further extension of 2 or 3 years to the period of planning approval for the Badgingarra Wind Farm (scheduled to lapse on the 19 December 2014) to the 19 December 2016 or 2017.
The reason for the delay in carrying out the approved proposal is provided below:
“As with our previous extension, the project has continued to experience a major delay to its critical development path mainly due to the delays experienced by Western Power to obtain the relevant approvals for the construction of its 330 kV Midwest Transmission Line project. Western Power has commenced construction of the Mid West Energy Project - Stage 1 (Southern Section) and is expecting to complete this stage by the end of 2014. This will enable the connection of the Badgingarra Wind Farm”.
A copy of the 2012 planning approval and 2013 amended planning approval is provided in the Attachments along with the formal letter requesting an extension of planning approval.
 
BACKGROUND
At its meeting on the 12 December 2008, Council granted conditional planning approval for the Badgingarra Wind Farm for a period of two (2) years. In 2010 an extension to planning approval was granted on 11 November for a further two (2) years with an additional 6 conditions added to the 2008 planning approval. At its meeting on the 18 April 2013 Council considered amendments to the proposed development due to improvements in wind turbine technologies. The variation resulted in a new design and more efficient turbine but an increase height to the tip of the turbine to 140 metres. The Council resolved at this meeting to approve the proposal subject to the conditions imposed in 2008 and 2012 as stated:
 
1. The proponents shall (prior to the erection of wind turbine generators) provide notification to the RAAF Aeronautical Service of the location and height details of the wind turbine generators;
 
2. The proponents shall (prior to the erection of the wind turbine generators) provide notification to Air Services Australia of the location and height details of the wind turbine generators;
 
3. The proponents shall (prior to the erection of wind turbine generators) provide notification to CASA of the location and height details of the wind turbine generators;
 
4. The access points onto the subject land and any road works shall be located and constructed to the satisfaction of the Manager of Technical Services and Works and include all necessary drainage and signage. Costs applicable to the construction of the access points onto the site and any related issues shall be borne by the proponents;
 
5. Access to the proposed development will only be allowed along Cadda Road and Yerramullah Road. The proponents will be required to undertake routine maintenance works on Cadda Road (from the Brand Highway to Munbinea Road) and Yerramullah Road (from Cantabilling Road to the intersection with Bibby Road) for the duration of the construction phase.  
The cost of the routine maintenance will be determined on a shared basis with the Shire (to be agreed prior to the commencement of the project based upon forecast traffic volumes). Any costs associated with required upgrades needed before development of the Wind Farm occurs shall be to the satisfaction of the Manager Technical Services and Works and be at the cost of the proponents;
 
6. The proponents in conjunction with the Shire of Dandaragan shall commission a Road Condition Report prepared by a recognised engineer (agreed to by both parties) prior to the commencement of the project. The Road Condition Report shall, at least but not be limited to, identifying the following issues;
a) Suitability of the existing pavement strength (in wet and dry conditions) to cater for the proposed haulage loads and traffic volumes;
b) Suitability of the existing horizontal and vertical alignments to cater for the proposed haulage loads and traffic volumes; and
c) Identify and provide plans and costings for any required upgrade works to the existing road network to make it suitable for the proposed haulage loads and traffic volumes.
The costs associated with the preparation of the Road Condition Report and any road works identified in the Road Condition Report shall be undertaken at the cost of the proponents prior to any works commencing onsite;
 
7. The Shire of Dandaragan requires Cadda Road (from the Brand Highway to Munbinea Road) and Yerramullah Road (from Cantabilling Road to the intersection with Bibby Road) to be in no lesser standard at the end of the construction phase as they were prior to the development commencing. A photographic record of the condition of the subject roads shall be prepared prior to commencement of the project;
 
8. The proponents shall provide a Traffic Management Plan to Main Roads WA and the Shire of Dandaragan prior to the commencement of construction. The Traffic Management Plan shall address;
·       Transportation of materials to the project site;
·       Obtaining the necessary written approvals / permits from Main Roads WA Heavy Vehicle Operations Branch; and
·       The transport of all divisible and indivisible loads and acquisition of necessary permits for transport of these loads.
 
9. Following the submission of the development application, if the proponents propose changes resulting in significant additional environmental impact in the opinion of the Shire of Dandaragan, these changes shall not be undertaken without prior consultation with the Shire of Dandaragan and the Environmental Protection Authority Service Unit;
 
10. The proponents are required to obtain a Clearing Permit in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 in the case of any proposal to clear existing remnant native vegetation on the site to the satisfaction of the Department of Environment and Conservation;
 
11. The Wind Farm shall comply with the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority “Wind farms environmental noise guidelines (interim)” dated December 2007 and relevant sections of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority “Guidance of the Assessment of Environmental Factors Environmental Noise Draft No 8” dated May 2007;
 
12. Noise from the operational Wind Farm shall not exceed 5dB(A) above the background noise level or 40dB(A) (using a 10 minutes LAeq), whichever is the greater, at existing residences inside the development envelope;
 
13. Noise from the operational Wind Farm shall not exceed 5dB(A) above the background noise level or 35dB(A) (using a 10 minutes LAeq), whichever is the greater, at existing residences outside the development envelope;
14. The background noise limits for the proposed development are to be based on the pre-recorded background noise measurements. (Refer to Table 5 of the development application.);
 
15. The proponents shall develop and implement a post construction noise monitoring program at the noise sensitive receptors listed in Table 5 of the development application to assess compliance of the operational Wind Farm with the noise limits. The post-construction noise monitoring program shall be conducted at the same time of year as when the background noise measurements were recorded. Results of the program shall be forwarded to the relevant authority
 
16. Prior to the commencement of construction, the proponents shall commission third party noise modelling studies (in accordance with planning consent condition number 11) to demonstrate the final Wind Farm design complies with the noise limits outlined in this approval. The intended noise modelling methodology shall be discussed with the Department of Environment and Conservation Noise Branch, at the appropriate time;
 
17. The proponents shall develop and implement a bird mortality monitoring program within 12 months of commencement of Wind Farm operations. The program shall be developed in consultation with the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and / or the WA Museum. Results of the program shall be forwarded to the Shire of Dandaragan;
 
18. The proponents shall develop and implement an annual monitoring program for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo (Calyptohynchus latirostris) bird strike, foraging and roosting (including any avoidance) behaviour, with reporting to the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. The WA Museum (Mr Ron Johnstone or his nominated appointment) is to be consulted in developing appropriate surveying methodologies for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. The duration of this monitoring will be defined during the development of the program and subject to review, based on findings during the first two years' monitoring;
 
19. The proponents shall provide road signage to the specification and satisfaction of Main Roads WA and the Shire of Dandaragan;
 
20. The proponents shall submit a Drainage Management Plan for internal access roads for the endorsement of the Manager Technical Services and Works and a Drainage Management Plan where any impacts occur externally to the properties contained within the application;
 
21. A display panel designated to the Badgingarra Wind Farm shall be included in the existing Viewing Area Information Stand at the Emu Downs Wind Farm;
 
22. The proponents shall ensure sufficient clearance is maintained from Western Powers’ existing and planned transmission and distribution lines and associated facilities to the satisfaction of Western Power;
 
23. The proponents shall provide landscaping to screen buildings to a similar standard as was planted at the Emu Downs Wind Farm;
 
24. Any leasehold arrangements exceeding 20 years for part lots are to be referred to the Western Australian Planning Commission for approval;
 
25. The submissions / objections lodged by the Department of Industry and Resources, Image Resources NL and Jurien Industrial Minerals Ltd being withdrawn and that Council be indemnified against any possible action from these organisations with regard to granting of planning approval,  prior to the commencement of any on site works;
 
26. Decommissioning of the above ground plant and equipment (excluding concrete pads; footings; and in-ground cables) on the subject land will commence within a period of 12 months from termination of operations and be completed within a time period of the satisfaction of the Shire of Dandaragan. This will occur following submission by the proponents of a plan outlining the process of decommissioning;
 
27. Planning consent is granted for a maximum period of two years from the date of this approval during which time the development must be substantially commenced;
 
28. The proponent is advised that planning approval is not a building licence. A building licence must be formally applied for and obtained from Building Services before commencement of any site and / or development works;
 
29. Prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent shall commission detailed archaeological and ethnographic surveys, compliant with Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972) dated September 2011, over areas of proposed infrastructure;
 
30. Prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent shall make arrangements in consultation with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council for any required Aboriginal heritage monitoring;
 
31. prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent shall provide and implement a Fire Management Plan that addresses the impacts of the Wind Farm through the construction phase to operation, approved by Council and Department of Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia;
 
32. All fencing shall be of rural construction such as open post and rail or post and wire, to the satisfaction of the Shire;
 
33. prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent will consult with landowners on the location of known weed infestations and will implement measures, as agreed with landowners, and in accordance with any relevant regulation under the Bio-security and Agriculture Management Act 2007 and measures recommended by the Western Australian Department of Food and Agriculture; and
 
34. The proponent shall prior to commencement of construction, implement necessary strategies to mitigate an future noise non-compliance that may arise from the construction or operation of the Wind Farm.
 
COMMENT
The request for a 2 or 3 year extension to the current Badgingarra Windfarm planning approval is considered legitimate based on the statement of justification provided in the letter. The delays are mainly due to the delays experienced by Western Power to obtain the relevant approvals for the construction of its 330kV Midwest Transmission Line Project. Construction has now commenced on the project with stage 1 expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
Western Power has indicated it will offer Badgingarra Wind Farm a preliminary Access Offer in February 2015 and a final Access Offer in January 2016. The proponent is reasonably confident the project will commence construction within two years however, the preference is for a three year extension.
 
However, in granting the extension it should be made clear to the proponent that the Council’s decision does not provide an avenue to change any of the current conditions of approval nor afford a right of appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal. The decision merely relates to the period of time upon which construction work must have substantially commenced, generally interpreted as ‘slab on the ground’, or in this instance could mean footings completed for most of wind turbines.
Since the original approval was given 6 years ago, there have been some agency name changes and in February 2014 the Environmental Protection Authority release Bulletin No.21 ‘Guidance for wind farm developments’. It is recommended the conditional planning approval is updated to reflect these minor changes. It is recommended that Council grant only a two year extension in case changes occur during this time period.
 
APA Group held a Badgingarra Wind Farm landowners meeting on Tuesday 30th September and support for the project remains strong amongst landowners. Given there are no changes to landowners nor the proposed development it would be reasonable to approve the proposal subject to the conditions imposed in 2008 and 2012 with the slight modifications mentioned previously.
 
CONSULTATION
The proponent has provided with its written request for extension continuing support by landowners. Therefore, it is not considered necessary for further public consultation be undertaken at this time.
 
STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT
·       Clause 10.5.2 of the Local Planning Scheme No. 7 states:
10.5.2 “a written request may be made to the local government for an extension of the term of planning approval at any time prior to the expiry of the approval period in Clause 10.5.1”
·       Planning Bulletin 67 – Guidelines to Wind Farm Development
 
POLICY IMPLICATIONS
There are no policy implications relevant to this item.
 
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
A planning application fee to the value of $15,750 shall be paid by the applicant, being 50% of the planning application fee to validate the extension of the planning approval.
 
STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS
Renewable energy projects deemed compatible with surrounding land uses should be encouraged through identification in future strategic planning instruments for the Shire, including any new municipal strategic plan, the Local Planning Strategy and new Local Planning Schemes.
 
ATTACHMENTS
Circulated with the agenda are the following items relevant to this report:
·       A copy of the 2012 Planning Approval (Doc Id: 9524)
·       A copy of the 2013 amended Planning Approval (Doc Id: 13264)
·       Request for Extension / Transfer of Planning Approval – Badgingarra Wind Farm Project (Doc Id: 40878) (Marked 9.4.4)
 
VOTING REQUIREMENT
 
 
OFFICER RECOMMENDATION
That Council pursuant to Clause 10.5.2 of the Shire of Dandaragan Local Planning Scheme No.7 grant a two year extension to the planning approval granted 12 December 2008 for the Badgingarra Wind-farm resulting in the revised expiry date of 19 December 2016 subject to the following conditions:
 
1. The proponents shall (prior to the erection of wind turbine generators) provide notification to the RAAF Aeronautical Service of the location and height details of the wind turbine generators;
2. The proponents shall (prior to the erection of the wind turbine generators) provide notification to Air Services Australia of the location and height details of the wind turbine generators;
3. The proponents shall (prior to the erection of wind turbine generators) provide notification to CASA of the location and height details of the wind turbine generators;
4. The access points onto the subject land and any road works shall be located and constructed to the satisfaction of the Executive Manager Infrastructure and include all necessary drainage and signage. Costs applicable to the construction of the access points onto the site and any related issues shall be borne by the proponents;
5. Access to the proposed development will only be allowed along Cadda Road and Yerramullah Road. The proponents will be required to undertake routine maintenance works on Cadda Road (from the Brand Highway to Munbinea Road) and Yerramullah Road (from Cantabilling Road to the intersection with Bibby Road) for the duration of the construction phase. The cost of the routine maintenance will be determined on a shared basis with the Shire (to be agreed prior to the commencement of the project based upon forecast traffic volumes). Any costs associated with required upgrades needed before development of the Wind Farm occurs shall be to the satisfaction of the Executive Manager Infrastructure and be at the cost of the proponents;
6. The proponents in conjunction with the Shire of Dandaragan shall commission a Road Condition Report prepared by a recognised engineer (agreed to by both parties) prior to the commencement of the project. The Road Condition Report shall, at least but not be limited to, identifying the following issues;
a) Suitability of the existing pavement strength (in wet and dry conditions) to cater for the proposed haulage loads and traffic volumes;
b) Suitability of the existing horizontal and vertical alignments to cater for the proposed haulage loads and traffic volumes; and
c) Identify and provide plans and costings for any required upgrade works to the existing road network to make it suitable for the proposed haulage loads and traffic volumes.
The costs associated with the preparation of the Road Condition Report and any road works identified in the Road Condition Report shall be undertaken at the cost of the proponents prior to any works commencing onsite;
7. The Shire of Dandaragan requires Cadda Road (from the Brand Highway to Munbinea Road) and Yerramullah Road (from Cantabilling Road to the intersection with Bibby Road) to be in no lesser standard at the end of the construction phase as they were prior to the development commencing. A photographic record of the condition of the subject roads shall be prepared prior to commencement of the project;
8. The proponents shall provide a Traffic Management Plan to Main Roads WA and the Shire of Dandaragan prior to the commencement of construction. The Traffic Management Plan shall address;
·       Transportation of materials to the project site;
·       Obtaining the necessary written approvals / permits from Main Roads WA Heavy Vehicle Operations Branch; and
·       The transport of all divisible and indivisible loads and acquisition of necessary permits for transport of these loads.
9. Following the submission of the development application, if the proponents propose changes resulting in significant additional environmental impact in the opinion of the Shire of Dandaragan, these changes shall not be undertaken without prior consultation with the Shire of  Dandaragan and the Environmental Protection Authority Service Unit;
10. The proponents are required to obtain a Clearing Permit in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 in the case of any proposal to clear existing remnant native vegetation on the site to the satisfaction of the Department of Parks and Wildlife;
11. The Wind Farm shall comply with the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority “Wind farms environmental noise guidelines (interim)” dated December 2007 and the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority ‘Environmental Protection Bulletin No. 21 Guidance for wind farm developments’ dated February 2014;
12. Noise from the operational Wind Farm shall not exceed 5dB(A) above the background noise level or 40dB(A) (using a 10 minutes LAeq), whichever is the greater, at existing residences inside the development envelope;
13. Noise from the operational Wind Farm shall not exceed 5dB(A) above the background noise level or 35dB(A) (using a 10 minutes LAeq), whichever is the greater, at existing residences outside the development envelope;
14. The background noise limits for the proposed development are to be based on the pre-recorded background noise measurements. (Refer to Table 5 of the development application.);
15. The proponents shall develop and implement a post construction noise monitoring program at the noise sensitive receptors listed in Table 5 of the development application to assess compliance of the operational Wind Farm with the noise limits. The post-construction noise monitoring program shall be conducted at the same time of year as when the background noise measurements were recorded. Results of the program shall be forwarded to the relevant authority;
16. Prior to the commencement of construction, the proponents shall commission third party noise modelling studies (in accordance with planning consent condition number 11) to demonstrate the final Wind Farm design complies with the noise limits outlined in this approval. The intended noise modelling methodology shall be discussed with the Department of Environment Regulation Noise Branch, at the appropriate time;
17. The proponents shall develop and implement a bird mortality monitoring program within 12 months of commencement of Wind Farm operations. The program shall be developed in consultation with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and / or the WA Museum. Results of the program shall be forwarded to the Shire of Dandaragan;
18. The proponents shall develop and implement an annual  monitoring program for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo (Calyptohynchus latirostris) bird strike, foraging and roosting (including any avoidance) behaviour, with reporting to the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. The WA Museum (Mr Ron Johnstone or his nominated appointment) is to be consulted in developing appropriate surveying methodologies for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo.
The duration of this monitoring will be defined during the development of the program and subject to review, based on findings during the first two years' monitoring;
19. The proponents shall provide road signage to the specification and satisfaction of Main Roads WA and the Shire of Dandaragan;
20. The proponents shall submit a Drainage Management Plan for internal access roads for the endorsement of the Executive Manager Infrastructure and a Drainage Management Plan where any impacts occur externally to the properties contained within the application;
21. A display panel designated to the Badgingarra Wind Farm shall be included in the existing Viewing Area Information Stand at the Emu Downs Wind Farm;
22. The proponents shall ensure sufficient clearance is maintained from Western Powers’ existing and planned transmission and distribution lines and associated facilities to the satisfaction of Western Power;
23. The proponents shall provide landscaping to screen buildings to a similar standard as was planted at the Emu Downs Wind Farm;
24. Any leasehold arrangements exceeding 20 years for part lots are to be referred to the Western Australian Planning Commission for approval;
25. The submissions / objections lodged by the Department of Industry and Resources, Image Resources NL and Jurien Industrial Minerals Ltd being withdrawn and that Council be indemnified against any possible action from these organisations with regard to granting of planning approval, prior to the commencement of any on site works;
26. Decommissioning of the above ground plant and equipment (excluding concrete pads; footings; and inground cables) on the subject land will commence within a period of 12 months from termination of operations and be completed within a time period of the satisfaction of the Shire of Dandaragan. This will occur following submission by the proponents of a plan outlining the process of decommissioning;
27. Planning consent is granted for a maximum period of two years from the date of this approval during which time the development must be substantially commenced;
28. The proponent is advised that planning approval is not a building licence. A building licence must be formally applied for and obtained from Building Services before commencement of any site and / or development works;
29. Prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent shall commission detailed archaeological and ethnographic surveys, compliant with Aboriginal Heritage Act (1972) dated September 2011, over areas of proposed infrastructure;
30. Prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent shall make arrangements in consultation with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council for any required Aboriginal heritage monitoring;
31. prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent shall provide and implement a Fire Management Plan that addresses the impacts of the Wind Farm through the construction phase to operation, approved by Council and Department of Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia;
32. All fencing shall be of rural construction such as open post and rail or post and wire, to the satisfaction of the Shire;
33. prior to the commencement of construction, the proponent will consult with landowners on the location of known weed infestations and will implement measures, as agreed with landowners, and in accordance with any relevant regulation under the Bio-security and Agriculture Management Act 2007 and measures recommended by the Western Australian Department of Food and Agriculture;
34. The proponent shall prior to commencement of construction, implement necessary strategies to mitigate any future noise non-compliance that may arise from the construction or operation of the Wind Farm; and
35. Planning approval for the extension of planning approval will commence from the date of receipt of the planning application fee to the value of $15,750

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