A comprehensive Environmental Assessment was been prepared and lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DoPI). For ease, Volume #1 is accessible below however for the full report please follow the link above.
DoPI placed the project assessment on public exhibition from 12 December 2012 to 19 March 2013. During this period, submissions were sought from the local community, government agencies, interested parties and other stakeholders.
The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE, formerly DoPI) assessed the Project and reccomended that the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) approve the Project subject to a range of conditions.
The NSW PAC evaluated the project in accordance with the rigorous PAC process and approved the Project on May 10, 2016.
In response to submissions received for the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm Environmental Assessment and subsequent consultation with NSW Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) and Mid-Western Regional Council (MWRC), the Proponent has revisited and reassessed all available transport routes to the project site near Pyramul.
The preferred route for over-dimensional vehicles travels from Newcastle along the Golden Highway and then south along the RMS State Highway B55 (Castlereagh Highway) to Aarons Pass Road. In response to concerns and feedback received during initial Public Exhibition and subsequent consultation, two route options through Mudgee are proposed for over-dimensional vehicles. Route Option 1 would see vehicles stay on the Castlereagh Highway. Route Option 2 utilises the MWRC roads of Cox, Short, Lawson and Mortimer Streets and Burrundulla Avenue, before rejoining the Castlereagh Highway. However, Route Option 2 is only proposed for transportation of wind turbine blades.
Up to ten (10) over-dimensional vehicle trips per day, including return trips, are proposed. It is proposed that a worst case scenario of six (6) loaded over-dimensional vehicles per day travelling to the project site, split between Route Options 1 and 2 (depending on the component being transported) is likely. Vehicles returning (empty) will no longer be over-length or over-mass owing to either their load having been deployed on-site and / or due to the articulated capacity of their trailer sections. As a consequence, there will be fewer over-dimensional vehicles on the return trip. Furthermore, it is possible for some of the return vehicles to make use of routes via Sydney or Route Option 1 to return to Newcastle.
The potential impacts of over-dimensional vehicles travelling through Mudgee have in the past been misrepresented, causing community concern. Only over-length vehicles carrying wind turbine blades are proposed to travel along Route Option 2, and if vehicles were to travel through the Mudgee urban area in convoys of two, there is the potential to reduce travel times, reduce delays and therefore traffic impacts. This is particularly pertinent to residents along Route Option 2, where use of convoys would reduce events to one per day.
Standard Heavy Vehicle (SHV) route options have also been developed which include Route Option 1 (discussed above) and three (3) additional options which would accommodate construction vehicles travelling from the Mudgee, Lithgow and Bathurst areas. Consideration of a number of route options provides flexibility for sourcing materials, and allows scope for contractors and businesses from around the region to be engaged in project construction.
The report responding to submissions received during the initial public exhibition phase and the reassessment of all available transport route options to the project site is available for public comment from 29 November to 20 December 2013. Hard copies are available at Mudgee, Gulgong, Kandos, Rylstone and Bathurst with electronic copies available for download via the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure website.
(For ease, Volume #1 is accessible below however for the full report please follow the link above).