Clermont Solar Pty Ltd Commit to Buying Local

Clermont Solar Pty Ltd Commit to Buying Local

Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting would like to showcase our client, Epuron, as a leading example of what a company can bring to a local community when they commit to “buying local”.

Epuron is a leading Australian renewable energy company focused on utility-scale wind & solar energy projects.  Epuron have a head office in Sydney, with renewable energy projects based all over Australia, including within Queensland, New South Wales and Northern Territory.  

The industry term to describe the benefits of buying local is “economic spinoffs”.  The term economic spin-off is widely used in popular media to describe the potential secondary economic effects of a project or development.

Our client, Clermont Solar Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Epuron, have recently gained approval for a 150MW solar farm approximately 8km west of Clermont, in Central Queensland.  

In their Community Consultation Strategy, Clermont Solar Pty Ltd, advised that, “The development of a solar energy project will represent a positive diversification of the local economy, which is currently focused on agriculture and coal mining, and create many other indirect benefits for the local community.  The project could provide the opportunity for local workers to participate in not only the construction of the project but also a range of local suppliers and businesses, including, accommodation providers, fuel suppliers, restaurants, etc.”.  This is an example of a company “walking the talk”.

As a local town planner in Clermont and parent of our young family, not to mention my role (in my spare time!) as partner in our cropping business; I am passionate about my community.

Epuron were responsible for the Development of the project. Recently, Epuron, sold the project to a company called Wirsol Energy Ltd who are now responsible for the project.  RCR Tomlinson Ltd will be the Engineering Procurement Contractor and will construct the project on behalf of Wirsol. 

The construction and accommodation strategy, designed by Wirsol and RCR Tomlinson Ltd, has a local focus and includes utilisation of the existing Hotel/ Motels and accommodation options in Clermont.  Similarly, all catering required for the construction team will be sourced locally. Further, where possible, labour will be sourced from within the Region.

Designated Muster Points/ Pick up Points will be established in Town to transport the construction team to the site, thus reducing the impact of construction related traffic on our local roads.  There will be approximately 4 – 5 buses and 10 – 15 cars travelling to site per day.

We will continue to keep our locals informed as the construction process commences and prior to the start of construction.  For further information, please contact Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting here.

 

Subdivision Tips and Tricks

Subdivision Tips and Tricks

Split the land in two?  Double your money? Sounds easy however you need to have a good handle on the potential costs involved.  The secret is to do your homework.

You need approval from your local Council if want to subdivide your land in Queensland.  Each Council has its own standards, which means that each local Council will have its specific requirements and challenges.  To save you time upfront, it can pay to obtain independent advice prior to embarking on your subdivision project.

Our tip tips for success:

  1. Do your research – determine the potential costs for subdivision as accurately as possible.  A Town Planner can help to identify the application costs, timeframes and process.  A professional planner will indicate the likely success of your proposal and if it will likely be supported by Council.

 

  1. Consult your team of professionals –
    • Town Planner – This is the first step.  A Town Planner will identify the relevant planning constraints, such as, lot sizes, relevant codes, access requirements, location of services, etc
    • Civil Engineer – Review current infrastructure and risks or constraints with regard to water, sewer and stormwater
    • Surveyor – Survey the land, prepare the subdivision proposal plan for Council and the final subdivision plan for the Department of Natural Resources
    • Solicitor – arrange separate titles for each new lot

At Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting, we work with our network of local professionals to provide you with a complete service.

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  1. Be aware of the costs – a successful subdivision will result in a sweet profit.  The main costs you need to consider are:
  • Purchase price of land
  • Purchase costs and property holding costs, such as, stamp duty, mortgage repayments, legal, building pest and inspection
  • Council contribution costs.  Often the most expensive cost for the entire process.  Council infrastructure costs or contributions will apply to account for the additional people created by the subdivision.  It is important that you get this right up front! Your town planner will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the costs.
  • Registration of Title.  This will be required to be paid to the local land registry.  Again the town planner can advise.
  • Infrastructure Connections sewer, water, stormwater.  The cost to connect the lots to services can vary greatly depending on the location of the existing sewer and water main and how accessible they are.  The purpose of stormwater infrastructure is to ensure that any water from a rainfall event is discharged to the street (and does not adversely impact on adjoining properties).  The costs of which will vary.
  • Electricity and telecommunication.  Where are the existing service and connection points?  
  • Driveways and Cross-Overs.  Material, curb and gutter requirements will vary depending on the local Council.
  • Other expenses.  Other costs to consider include, fencing, earthworks, footpath requirements, hazard management plan requirements, listed vegetation requirements, relocation of any service pits (Telstra or Ergon).  Whilst it is impossible to foresee every costs, it is important to communicate with your town planner to ensure that no other site specific expenses that are not obvious are identified.

How Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting can help:

Step One: Contact us for a free, initial no obligation consultation, we can then review your site and undertake a desktop assessment and provide an accurate indication of the likely costs and chance of success.

Step Two: We will work with your team of professionals to determine the site constraints, requirements and likely costs and obtain Development Approval on your behalf.

Step Three: Detail design and construction by Civil Engineer.

Step Four: Plan sealing and Registration.  You are ready to sell the new title!

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Adani Renewables – Rugby Run Solar Farm

Adani Renewables – Rugby Run Solar Farm

Did you know Adani is not only a coal mining company?  Adani Australia is a resource, logistics and energy business.  You may have seen the recent media attention and the announcement by Adani to begin early works on is Carmichael Coal Mine, about 160km North-West of Clermont, next month (October 2017).

 What you may not know is that Adani aim to build a leading renewables energy business operating in Australia, with a 1500MW portfolio of renewable power plants by 2022.

 Adani’s latest solar project is the “Rugby Run Solar Farm”, located outside of Moranbah in Central Queensland.  Isaac Regional Council issued Development Approval for the 300MW in May 2017.

 Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting facilitated the Stakeholder Engagement for the Rugby Run Solar Farm on behalf of Adani Infrastructure Pty Ltd.  We worked together with Epic Environmental – the lead approval team. The team achieved the Development Permit at minimal cost and timeframe delay.

 We know first hand that effective communication with stakeholders can minimise the risks and maximise the success of projects, particularly in the project development phase and through ongoing communication prior to and during construction.  Effective engagement can highlight the contentious issues and achieve mutually satisfactory outcomes through facilitation and mediation.

Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting have the network and skills to identify the relevant project or community stakeholders, combine media platforms, facilitate one on one communications, drop in session events and one line media and publicity to ensure the best outcome for your project.

 Contact Us to discuss your stakeholder engagement or community consultation

 

Exciting Vanadium Project

Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting is excited to be involved with the preparation of a Social Impact Assessment for a vanadium project outside of Julia Creek in Queensland. [Link to: http://www.epicenvironmental.com.au/portfolio-items/mountview-estate/]  Multicom Resources Pty Ltd, Australia’s leading developer of vanadium resources, is seeking to mine Vanadium Pentoxide over 8,800 Ha of land, situated approximately 25km east of Julia Creek. [Link to: http://www.mcres.com.au/projects/elmo]

At Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting we enjoy working at the cutting edge of new and emerging industries.  Vanadium has recently been described as being central to the “holy grail of renewable energy”. Vanadium has the ability to provide grid scale energy storage that will revolutionise green energy, as it will allow energy derived from the sun and wind to be stored and used on demand over extended periods.

Multicom Resources Pty Ltd are seeking to take advantage of the emerging supply gap within the market for vanadium, which is used in high strength steep production and redox flow batteries.  Vanadium demand is increasing as result of global trends towards lighter weight and higher strength steels. Particularly in China, where changes to building standards require increased vanadium content in steels.  

In addition, Multicom have partnered with a company to produce StorEn vanadium batteries [Link to: http://www.mcres.com.au/energystorage].  Vanadium batteries intend to be the “Missing Link” in today’s energy market in its transition towards energy generation from renewable sources and greater energy efficiency: the need for long lasting and economical energy storage.

Stay tuned for further project updates.

How to Decipher Town Planning Jargon

How to Decipher Town Planning Jargon

Are you confused by Town Planning terms? Town Planning is famous for its industry specific jargon.  From “MCU” to “ROL” to “Existing Use Rights”. We hear you!

We want to make things simple for you.  This glossary focuses on some of the general terms in the Queensland system.  

Let’s start with the definition of a Town Planner: Town Planners are professionals who specialise in developing strategies and designing the communities in which we live, work and play. Balancing the built and natural environment, community needs, cultural significance, and economic sustainability, planners aim to improve our quality of life and create vibrant communities.

Amenity – The pleasantness of attractiveness of a building or place.  This is what Town Planners are seeking to protect, develop and encourage.  How we feel and operate within our environment is paramount and at the forefront of our minds.

Code Assessment – Code assessment is a bounded assessment only against applicable planning requirements (assessment benchmarks or the relevant codes).  This type of assessment is usually relatively straightforward and does not require the application to be publicly notified.

Existing Use Rights – existing lawful use rights ensure that land uses that were lawful under a repealed planning instrument are not rendered unlawful by amendments made to current planning instruments. That is, the use of premises that was lawful at the time it commenced continues to be lawful despite any changes brought about by the introduction of a new or amended planning scheme. That is a use that was lawful under the previous ‘Rules’ (such as a Planning Scheme) and therefore the use rights are protected as existing lawful use rights.

Impact Assessment – Impact assessment must be assessed against the assessment benchmarks, and regard may be given to other relevant matters. This type of assessment must be publicly notified (see public notification below), i.e. a Notice in the Newspaper, Sign on the Land and Letter to adjoining neighbours.  Anyone who makes a submission (objection) has the right to a Third Party Appeal (see below).

MCU – A ‘Material Change of Use’ application is generally required when there is:  

  • The start of a new use of a building or on the land
  • The re-establishment of a use that has been abandoned 
  • A material change in the intensity or scale of the use of the land. 

Planning Instrument – The planning legislation establishes a framework of planning instruments and processes. These support the operation of the planning system. The legislation also determines which instrument takes precedence at any given time. This hierarchy is important.

Planning Scheme – The planning scheme guides growth, development and change in a local area. Each council, in consultation with its community, prepares its own planning scheme. Ultimately, the scheme is approved by the Minister to ensure it addresses state and regional planning matters, as well as local needs and aspirations.  Once the planning scheme is prepared and approved, development applications may be made to the assessment manager, which is usually the relevant local council.

Public Notification – impact assessable development is still required to be publicly notified. The planning scheme will continue to identify what development needs to be publicly notified in the development assessment process.  The process for public notification is set out in the DA Rules, however the Planning Act 2016 retains the requirements for the minimum timeframes a development application is required to be open for consultation and for people to make a submission about the application

ROL – reconfiguring a lot – this is essentially subdividing land, or carrying out other actions such as amalgamating lots or rearranging boundaries.

SARA –  Sate Assessment and Referral Agency – A referral agency is an entity that is not the assessment manager (the assessment manager is typically the Council) but has a role in a development application. The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) is a common referral agency, but other agencies can act in this role (e.g. port authorities and utilities providers). 

Third Party Appeal Rights – Third party appeal rights will continue for people who make a ‘properly made’ submission. A submitter may only appeal against the part of the development approval relating to impact assessable development, or a variation approval under Section 43 of the Planning Act 2016.  The appeal can be against one or more of the following: granting of a development approval; a condition of, or lack of conditions for a development approval; or the length of the current period.

Town Planning is a dynamic industry seeking to adapt to and evolve to the changing needs of our environment and society.  We love the cut and thrust of the industry. Maybe you are not as excited about it all as we are at Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting – but that is ok as we are here to help.

Contact us today for more information.

 

 

References:

 

https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planning-building/applying-post-approval/how-development-applications-are-assessed/assessment-stage-6-appeals

 

https://planning.dilgp.qld.gov.au/planning/better-development/key-concepts

 

http://www.mackay.qld.gov.au/business/planning_and_development/planning_schemes_and_strategic_planning/new_planning_schemes/mackay_city_planning_scheme

 

https://www.rockhamptonregion.qld.gov.au/PlanningBuilding/Development-Applications/Lodging-a-Development-Application/Material-Change-of-Use-MCU