The Joint Regional Planning Panel has approved the proposed 9-megawatt solar farm, set to be constructed off Wallamore Road near Taminda.
A panel met at Tamworth’s Council Chambers this morning to mitigate potential issues before signing off on the proposal.
The JRPP’s tick of approval was the last hoop the project had to jump through after already gaining council’s consent to move forward with the solar farm.
Chair of the Northern Regional Council Gary West says it’s now up to the project’s applicant to maintain a construction certificate before moving forward with the process.
“It’s been approved and it will be up to the advocate now to as to what pace they wish to undertake to get the project under construction.” West said.
The applicant’s next step will be deciding on what type of solar panel will be used on the farm, which is expected to home around 27,000 panels.
Mr West says with that decision will come further studies around potential impacts on the neighboring Tamworth Jockey Club.
“They’ll have to decide on what type of panels and do a further study on the impact with those panels and the potential of a barrier between the development and Tamworth Jockey Club to ensure that any glare impacts are mitigated.”
Concerns around the farm’s close proximity with the Jockey Club raised several questions at today’s meeting but Gary West is confidant the necessary precautions have been introduced.
“We had a bit of work to go through just to understand some of the issues and make sure we have conditions in the right order to mitigate the potential impacts.”
“We resolved to not approve any construction work on race days and to also not have work starting before 9am in the morning, recognising there’s a lot of horse track work going on in the early hours of the morning.”