Joint Development Assessment Panel, Proposed Solar Photo Voltaic Power Facility near Badgingarra 40km from Dandaragan.

Location: Lot 54 Cnr Bibby and Yerramullah Roads, Nambung Badgingarra in Dandaragan Shire

Applicant: Masterplan acting on behalf of the APA Group

Folder Path: Development Services Apps / Development

Application / 2017 / 42

Date: 4 December 2017

Dandaragan wind farm


The applicants (owners and operators of the existing Emu Downs Wind and Solar energy facilities and the proposed Badgingarra Wind Farm facility) in the Dandaragan region are seeking planning approval for up to 50 megawatt photovoltaic (PV) solar power generating facility at the Badgingarra Wind Farm facility within the Yerramullah Park Farm, Dandaragan shire.

The application is required to be determined by the Midwest/Wheatbelt (central) Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).


The proposed solar power facility is to be located at the south-east corner of Lot 54 Yerramullah Road fronting Bibby Road and Yerramullah Road, approximately 28 kilometres directly east of Cervantes and approximately 46 kilometres northwest of Dandaragan within the locality of Nambung. The proposal borders the locality of Badgingarra and is part of the proposed wind farm which is located within the localities of Hill River, Badgingarra and Nambung in the Dandaragan region.

An underground cable will link the facility through lot 54, traversing Cadda Road and connect to the Badgingarra Wind Farm substation within Lot 50 Yeramullah Road to the north. The subject area generally comprises clear paddock although an area of approximately 1.2ha of poor quality remnant vegetation remains within the proposed development site.

While the subject area is south-west of the Badgingarra National Park it is adjacent to a vegetation corridor on the eastern side of Yerramullah Road which links directly to the National Park in the Dandaragan shire. The balance of the land to the west is cleared while the southern boundary of the proposed development area is formed by Bibby Road and the eastern edge by Yerramullah Road, Dandaragan shire. The subject area is bordered to the north and the majority of its western edge by a creek line and associated remnant vegetation. The major component will be the installation of sufficient solar panels to generate up to approximately 50MW of power. This will incorporate blocks of solar panels each equivalent to around 10MW, arranged in rows occupying an area of around 350m – 380m in width by 700 to 800m in length in total, covering approximately 145 hectares overall.

The whole facility will be enclosed in a perimeter fence and surrounded by an internal access road. PV Panels will be setback a minimum of 25m from the property boundaries. The minimum distance from the creek to the perimeter fence will be 30m with the PV arrays a minimum 60m from the creek.

A Traffic Shipping and Access Plan will be completed to confirm proposed transport routes along which the majority of traffic from relevant ports and local manufacturers will travel. A road condition survey will form part of this and any maintenance work required to public roads as a result of transport activity will be undertaken by the project contractor.


The subject land is currently zoned ‘Rural’ under the Shire’s Local Planning Scheme No. 7 (LPS7). The adjoining land uses are also zoned ‘Rural’ with the exception of the adjacent lot to the north east, which is a Nature Reserve, which is reserved for ‘Conservation’ purposes.

The proposed PV solar power facility is a use not specifically mentioned in the Zoning Table. As such the Local Government may:

  1. a) Determine that the use is consistent with the objectives of the particular zone and is therefore permitted;
  2. b) Determine that the use may be consistent with the objectives of the particular zone and thereafter follow the advertising procedures of clause 64 of the deemed provisions in considering an application for development approval; or
  3. c) Determine that the use is not consistent with the objectives of the particular zone and is therefore not permitted;

The objective for the Rural zone is follows;

“to provide for a range of rural activities such as broadacre and diversified farming so as to retain the rural character and amenity of the locality, in such a way as to prevent land degradation and further loss of biodiversity.”

More specific guidance is provided in the Shire’s draft Local Planning Strategy which was adopted by Council for advertising on 28 July 2016. Previous approvals for solar farms (Emu Downs and Waddi) have been determined by the Council and Joint Development Assessment Panel as meeting the above objective.

The following sections of the draft Local Planning Strategy support such applications;

 Table 4: Actions – service infrastructure

Action – Assess applications for wind farms and other alternative energy infrastructure, having regard to visual landscape issues and other relevant matters set out in Planning Bulletin 67 – Guidelines for Wind Farm Development.

5.4.3 Alternative Energy

There is significant potential for the Jurien Bay region to become an important area for renewable energy production projects. Wind power generation is already proving to be popular within the Jurien Bay hinterland with several projects in operation or planned. The first WA utility scale solar photovoltaic farm is also been developed north of Jurien Bay confirming the potential for solar power in the region.

There is adequate power generation within the region but the key issue for the shire is the transmission and distribution of power.

The investment by energy producers in the shire may encourage energy intensive agricultural or other industries that use significant amounts of energy to locate in the area.

In addition, the Rural Planning Strategy 2012 which will be superseded by the draft Local Planning Strategy supported such proposals as stated in Objective 4 of section of the Strategy:

Support appropriate non-rural uses where they are compatible with adjoining and nearby rural uses, environmental attributes and landscape to complement the primary productive use of the land where a site contains remnant vegetation and other environmental features or lacks realistic potential for agricultural use the Council will consider the proposed non-rural uses as the predominant use on its merits.”

An existing planning permit is in place for the development of the Badgingarra Wind Farm which would include the construction of wind turbines, access tracks, underground cable, an overhead transmission line, an onsite substation and a facilities building, all in the direct vicinity of the proposed solar plant site. The proposed solar plant would be integrated with the Badgingarra Wind Farm to create an integrated renewable energy project creating synergies during both construction and operation.

As the proposed solar facility is adjacent to areas identified as bushfire prone the requirements of SPP3.7 will apply. A bush fire plan has been prepared and is provided in the attachments.

Reflection or glare from photovoltaic solar panels is minimal as they are designed to collect and absorb sunlight, not to reflect it.

No issues have been identified by aviation stakeholders consulted and it is noted that photovoltaic solar panels are installed at airports in Australia and around the world.

The following factors will ensure that the construction and operation of the solar plant project will not create an unacceptable fire management risk:

  • The proposed solar plant site is cleared farmland.
  • Cables connecting the PV arrays within the solar plant site will be located underground.
  • There is very good access to the proposed solar plant site;

Given the above information, it is the Planning Officers recommendation that Council endorse the proposal with recommended conditions as set out in the Responsible Authority Report (in attachments) to be presented to the Joint Midwest/Wheatbelt (Central) Joint Development Assessment Panel for this application.

More wind farm developments


Advertising to nearby landowners commenced on 9 November until 8 December 2017. No submissions were received The proposal was also advertised in the four local newspapers circulating in the district and to the following government organisations.

 Wheatbelt Development Commission

 Western Power

 Western Australian Planning Commission

 Main Roads Western Australia

 Landgate

 Department of Fire and Emergency Services

 Environmental Protection Authority

 Department of Water Environment Regulation

 Department of Lands, Planning and Heritage

 Department of Industries and Resources

 Department of Health

 Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions

 Department of Mines and Petroleum

 Department of Agriculture and Food

 Shire Officers

There were no public submissions received. There were no issues raised from government agencies.


 Local Planning Scheme No 7


 SPP 2.5 Land Use Planning in Rural Areas

 Western Australian Planning Commission’s (WAPC) Planning Bulletin No 67- Guidelines for Wind Farm Development

 There are no local policy implications relevant to this item



2016 – 2026 Community Strategic Plan

Goal 1: Great Place for Residential and Business Development

 Objectives How the Shire will contribute

1.2 Ensure effective and efficient development and building services

1.4 Ensure Shire is “open for business” and supports industry and business development

  1. a) Process development applications and undertake building regulation functions and services
  2. b) Identify and engage with future new business and industry opportunities

 Shire of Dandaragan draft Local Planning Strategy

 Local Planning Strategy – Rural Land Use and Rural Settlement 2012


Circulated with the agenda are the following items relevant to this report:

 Responsible Authority Report (Doc Id: 103550)

 Application (Doc Id: 103547)

 Flora and Fauna Report (Doc Id: 103545)

 Bushfire Management Plan (Doc Id: 103546)

 Site Plan (Doc Id: 103548)

 Consultation Map (Doc Id: 103549)

 Conditions of Approval 2015 (Doc Id: 83549)

(Marked 9.4.3)


That Council ENDORSES the Responsible Authority Report (Doc Id: 103550) to the Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel, which recommends approval of a solar farm facility development at Lot 54 Yerramullah Road, Dandaragan shire. Nambung which is recommended for approval.