Planning rules have been updated to better protect local character and support the future growth of Mudgee.
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) was updated last year to protect regional cities from encroaching renewable energy projects.
“Given the increasing number of these projects, we updated planning rules to better protect our regional cities and population from incompatible development, and safeguard vital land needed to help them grow and prosper,” Mr Saunders said.
“In recognition of its forecast growth and importance as a tourism and social infrastructure hub, Mudgee has now been added to the list.
“This will ensure large scale solar and wind projects can only be approved if they do not have significant impacts on the future use of land, views, and scenic quality of the town.”
Mr Saunders said renewable projects remain an important part of the State’s energy mix now and into the future.
“We’re seeing many projects encroaching on the fringes of regional cities, and we need to make sure they have room to grow while we support the State’s future energy needs,” he said.
Other cities the policy applies to include Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Griffith, Goulburn, Orange, Tamworth, and Wagga Wagga.
The policy applies to all proposed large-scale solar and wind projects. These are typically classified as State Significant Development and Regionally Significant Development, and are determined by the Department, the Independent Planning Commission or Regional Planning Panels.
It does not affect small-scale solar and wind projects (like household solar panels) which are used to generate electricity for household use.