Wind Energy Facilities
Wind energy facilities in Victoria require a planning permit. This page provides information about changes to the planning controls, the current guidelines, model planning permit conditions and other relevant information.
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Amendments VC78, VC82 and VC91 implement the government’s policy on wind energy facilities.
Amendment VC91 was gazetted on 31 July 2012. The amendment changes the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes in Victoria to clarify that the application requirement, to obtain written consent from dwelling owners located within two kilometres of a turbine, does not apply to a proposed turbine in a residential, an industrial, a business or a special purpose zone.
The amendment was needed because the previous clause could be interpreted as requiring written consent from dwelling owners within two kilometres of a proposed smaller scale turbine integrated as part of the development of land. Application requirements of clause 52.32-3 were intended for an application that includes a turbine or turbines on land in a non-urban zone.
Policy and planning guidelines
Minor revisions have been made to the guidelines for development of wind energy facilities to provide further clarification on the application requirements and permit requirements.
Model permit conditions
The model permit conditions were updated to improve the noise condition and combine the ‘Pest animal management plan’ and the ‘Pest plant management conditions and rename to ‘Biosecurity management plan’, to better reflect the relevant standards and procedures for assessment.
Advisory Note 47 (replacing Advisory Note 36) provides information about the changes made by Amendments VC82 and VC91. In particular, it includes a number of exceptions to the wind energy facility prohibitions.
Amendment VC82, gazetted on 29 August 2011, amended the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes in Victoria to implement further aspects of the government’s policy on wind energy facilities.
Amendment VC82 prohibits a wind energy facility in the following circumstances and locations:
- Turbines within two kilometres of an existing dwelling except where the planning permit application includes evidence of written consent from the owner of the dwelling to the location of the turbine.
- Areas of high conservation and landscape values including National and State Parks described in a schedule to the National Parks Act 1975 and Ramsar wetlands as defined under section 17 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999.
- Locations that feature a high degree of amenity, environmental value, or significant tourist destinations including the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Bellarine Peninsula, Macedon and McHarg Ranges, Bass Coast and the Great Ocean Road region.
- Locations identified for future urban growth including land in the Urban Growth Zone and designated regional population corridors specified in the Regional Victoria Settlement Framework Plan in the State Planning Policy Framework.
The policy and planning guidelines for development of wind energy facilities in Victoria was updated to include the changes introduced by Amendment VC82. The guidelines are now a reference document in the Victoria Planning Provisions and planning schemes and address:
- What evidence is required to be provided to a responsible authority of the consent of an owner of a dwelling for a turbine proposed to be located within two kilometres of a dwelling. A written Statement of Consent Form (DOC - 55 KB) may be used.
- Model permit conditions that should be considered by a responsible authority when issuing a planning permit for a wind energy facility. Appendix B of the Policy and planning guidelines for development of wind energy facilities in Victoria, August 2011 (PDF - 553 KB) contains model permit conditions.
Amendment VC78, gazetted on 15 March 2011, amended the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes in Victoria to remove the Minister’s decision making powers regarding 30 plus megawatt wind energy facilities.
Councils are now the responsible authority for all planning permit applications for the use and development of land for the purpose of a Wind energy facility.
Amendment VC78 also made other changes to strengthen wind farm policy by promoting greater consideration of local amenity impacts, introducing additional application requirements, updating the New Zealand wind farm noise standard and introducing new guidelines - Policy and planning guidelines for development of wind energy facilities in Victoria (March 2011).
DPCD will work with local government, the Municipal Association of Victoria and other agencies to support the transition and assist ongoing implementation. Expert advice will be available to councils, and in cases where a proposal straddles local government boundaries or presents particularly complex issues beyond the technical expertise or resource capacity of a council, the option to refer a project to the Minister for Planning is available.
A full copy of Amendment VC78 is available on Planning Scheme Amendments Online.
The advisory note 'Amendment VC78 - Wind energy facility provisions - Clause 52.32' provides information on the practical implementation arrangements for the amendment.
Wind energy facility guidelines
The Victorian Government's 'Policy and planning guidelines for development of wind energy facilities in Victoria' (the Guidelines) has established a consistent approach to the development of wind energy facilities since 2002.
The latest July 2012 edition of the Guidelines ensures that the policy and technical assessment criteria are up to date.
Policy and planning guidelines for development of wind energy facilities, July 2012 (PDF - 1024 KB) or (DOC - 195 KB)
Wind energy projects in Victoria
A summary of current and proposed wind energy projects in Victoria can be found at the Department of Primary Industries website at Wind Projects in Victoria
Planning permit conditions
Model planning permit conditions for wind energy facilities have been developed to assist all parties involved in permit applications for wind energy facilities. They are provided in Appendix B of the Policy and planning guidelines for wind energy facilities in Victoria, July 2012.
The conditions are for guidance only and should be adapted depending on the individual circumstance of each wind energy proposal.
The manual Writing Planning Permits - February 2007 )PDF - 209 KB) includes conditions relevant to native vegetation including offset requirements.
A guide to calculating greenhouse benefits of wind energy facility proposals.
A range of government agencies provide support and assistance in relation to wind energy facilities.
A selection of web links about wind energy.
A list of documents and references relating to wind energy facilities.