FOR THE first time, the major landholder behind the proposed Nundle Hills of Gold Wind Farm Project has spoken publicly, backing the bold plan that has divided public opinion.
Some locals are in favour of the 78-turbine project, while other groups such as the Hills of Gold Preservation Society strongly oppose the development.
For the first time, Nundle resident Jim Robinson, who's property would host majority of the turbines has publicly thrown his support behind the project.
"I have only ever considered the entire community during this process, never just myself," Mr Robinson told the Leader.
"Throughout Nundle's history, people like Bessie Underwood, who donated the town hall, the Paine family who donated the land for the bowls club, pony club and golf club, and the Howarths, who created theDag Sheep Station and the Nundle Woollen Mill have selflessly given to the community.
"It's their example I am trying to follow by doing this.
"There has been wind farms proposed and built in places like Walcha and Glen Innes and no one complains about them.
"It seems to me that people haven't completely grasped what kinds of benefits [it] could offer the community.
"This project could open up a variety of things for the community such as a retirement village, enclosing the public pool, creating a pipeline from Chaffey Dam to Nundle and a community garden."
Mr Robinson said he believed the project would help attract tourism to the Nundle region.
"Personally, I think the only real tourism Nundle gets at the moment is from older tourists because there isn't really much here for families and kids," he said.
"If this project goes ahead, there has been serious interest in developing tourist attractions for the whole family like skate parks, mountain bike parks and a go-cart track.
"I think that could open up to a whole new realm of opportunities for tourism here in Nundle.
"At the moment, any travellers who do come here, get all of their groceries, fuel and things like that in Tamworth and don't spend much here.
"This project could help change that."
Hills of Gold Preservation Society president John Krsulja said the majority of the community did not share Mr Robinson's views.
"At a recent community consultation committee meeting, we talked about what the community enhancement fund could be used for," Mr Krsulja said.
"One thing that was agreed upon was that it wouldn't be possible to use the money for commercial purposes or for private use.
"Things like a retirement village would not be feasible and you wouldn't be able to spend money on publicly owned assets such as halls because it's not the way it works.
"The things Jim has mentioned are good ideas, but given the guidelines around the fund, they are false promises and the majority of Nundle residents oppose this project.
"They don't oppose renewable energy, they just oppose this project because of the implications."
A photo montage of the proposed project was released recently and a development application for the project is expected to be lodged in the coming months.