Controversial Solar Farm Approved

Pittsworth gets the green light

Controversial Solar Farm Approved

Contributed

A fiery Toowoomba Regional Council debate has resulted in the approvalĀ of a controversial solar farm just outside of Pittsworth.

The $200 million project was given the go ahead this week by Council, but not without a feisty discussion.

The council's Development Assessment Panel (DAP) voted 6-2 in favour of the plan to build a 40-megawatt solar farm on 186ha of prime agricultural land at Yarranlea.

Deputy Mayor Carol Taylor and Cr Mike Williams voted against the proposal recommended by TRC Planning Officer Peter Swan.

Mayor Paul Antonio, Cr James O'Shea and Cr Nancy Sommerfield were not present.

Cr Williams said the best use of the land at the site was for grazing, not supporting renewable energy projects.

"I'm strongly against prime agricultural land being used for a purpose which is not in its highest production value," he said.

"I know they're looking at this location because there is a substation there and it's convenient, but there are other substations where these types of projects could be located."

While Cr Bill Cahill said he considered the proposal to be "pretty reasonable."

The approval means the new solar farm joins a nearby 100MW project by Yarranlea Solar, which was approved in December.

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