A new incorporated community group, dedicated to representing landholders left disaffected by a booming renewables sector, has raised concern about theNew England Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).
One of the group members is Armidale Regional Council's Jon Galletly, who said he joined as a resident, not as a councillor, but he believes the council needs to start taking a leading role in the planning process.
"I've got a strong opinion that as a council, we need to step up because it's not just an ordinary couple of solar farms and wind farms going up - we're right in the guts of it," Mr Galletly said.
"The government has set it up exactly how you'd imagine them to set it up, and it's a mess."
Responsible Energy Development for New England (RED4NE) Deputy Chair and spokesperson, Matt Macarthur Onslow, said he has little confidence in the planning process for the REZ.
"I live in a house that my grandparents built for the view. I'm going to be looking at 12 wind towers all of a sudden. No-one came to us and told me that, I had to go and find that out," he said.
"That sort of behaviour is not good. And that really has got a lot of people angry. [The REZ is] divisive in the community, there's no doubt about that."
The group aims to unite a disparate campaign of local anti-renewables organisations across the New England and North West region, from Ben Lomond to Nundle.
Mr Macarthur Onslow said scores of community groups had sprung up across the region in the wake of the announced rapid growth of the industry, but they could only get so far on their own.
"In a 70 [kilometre] radius of Walcha there's proposed 460 odd towers, 10.2 million solar panels," he said.
"One of the underlying problems is the valuation of their asset. It's becoming apparent that if you're next door, and not a host landholder, you can be devalued by up to 30 per cent. No-one's come to them and said this is what we're going to do, do you mind.
"We really want to get a seat at the table to represent people who become members."
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the process of planning the Renewable Energy Zone has barely started, making judgement premature.
Communities in Armidale, Glen Innes, Nundle, Kentucky and Walcha, among others have emerged in opposition to renewable energy projects in their towns.
Last November, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he would lobby the Commonwealth on their behalf against a state renewable energy plan which he said will turn his electorate into a "sea of wind farms".
Companies looking to develop renewable projects had until Friday July 16 to register their interest in being involved in the zone planning process.
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