Impact on Landscape and Australia / New Zealand
The public benefits created by the development of hydro-electric power plants are not provided by wind farms, an Environment Court appeal hearing for Meridian Energy's proposed $2 billion Project Hayes wind farm has been told.
Appellant Ewan Carr made the suggestion during cross-examination of Meridian's eighth witness in the resumed hearing, Christchurch landscape architect Peter Rough.
Residents surrounding the proposed Lal Lal Windfarm have aired more concerns over the plan.
Some residents believe they have no guarantee how the proposal will affect them, the visual amenity and farming.
WestWind-Energy lodged its planning application with the planning minister last month for a 64-turbine wind farm, split into two sections, north of Elaine and east of Yendon.
Millbrook resident Michael Phyland is making a submission to the proposal, with his property only 700m from the nearest proposed turbine. ..."We're concerned to have so many turbines so close to home, and about the amount of noise - we've no idea how it's going to affect us," Mr Phyland said.
Tracks linking turbines scattered around the proposed Project Hayes wind farm on the Lammermoor Range would create visual scars additional to those created by 150km of access roading to the site, an Environment Court appeal hearing in Cromwell heard yesterday. ...Upland Landscape Protection Society representative Ewan Carr, of Dansey Pass, argued the tracks would have a significant impact on the landscape, as in order for large quantities of industrial material to be transported around the site, so called ‘‘fit-forpurpose tracks'' would end up being substantial roads.
There would be a mass of additional roads, as well as box-cutting for roads and windfarm structures such as turbine platforms, than what is shown by the Truescape computer images of the proposed wind farm. What the court was looking at was not a full representation of the wind farm, Mr Carr said.
The Dunedin City Council says the proposed Mahinerangi wind farm will have an adverse impact on its landscape, despite no turbines being built within its boundaries.
TrustPower had initially proposed a wind farm which included land within Dunedin but, after consulta tion, it had scaled back its proposal to a 200MW wind farm, solely within the Clutha district.
In a council submission yesterday, city council landscape architect Barry Knox said the wind farm would have a significant adverse effect on the broad natural character values of the Lammermoor range and its high country outstanding landscape area, within the Dunedin city.
PROJECT Hayes panel chairman John Matthews has released a 12-page statement explaining his reasons for voting against the Lammermoor wind farm proposal. ...He was chiefly concerned with landscape values, the appropriateness of the development and the setting of precedent, including his statement within yesterday's decision released by the panel.
‘‘If a proposal of this significance is found to be appropriate in an area of Outstanding Natural Landscape, it is difficult to see how any consent authority could fail to apply the ‘‘like for like'' principle on a future occasion,'' Mr Matthews said.
Moves to reclassify Central Otago landscapes thought worth protecting has drawn a reaction from wind farm developers, power companies and Federated Farmers. ...More than 200 submitters have recorded their opinions on the change to the classification of landscapes, and most have sought the references to be deleted or more information given about how they will affect development or normal rural activities.
South Gippsland Shire is demanding that landowners wanting to subdivide tell likely buyers of the "detrimental" effect of the Bald Hills Wind Farm.
Some landowners believe the requirement opens the door for them to seek compensation for lowered land values. ...Councilor David Lewis said the ruling was designed to avoid legal battles.
"People buying into this area can't say they didn't know," Cr Lewis said.
"The intention is to protect ratepayers from legal confrontations with large companies over noise issues."
Cr Lewis has since spoken to residents who "raised good issues" and conceded the condition may have created more headaches than it solved.
A valuer told Mr. Fairbrother in 2004 that the wind farm devalued his property by more than $350,000.
The layout of Mighty River Power's planned Turitea wind farm is under review after nearby residents and landscape experts slated its design.
The company plans to build a wind farm of up to 121 turbines near Palmerston North, but announced yesterday it would "reconsider" the design.
Landscape experts were worried about the visual impact of the proposed turbines on the Tararua Ranges and Turitea residents were also upset that some of the proposed turbines were near houses.
Rules that could forbid the construction of windfarms in "iconic" areas and stipulate the distance turbines must be from houses are being mooted by a North Island council that is gathering support around the country.
The Palmerston North City Council, which has granted consent for five windfarms over the past decade, is calling for a remit on the windfarm debate to be tabled at this year's Local Government New Zealand national conference in Christchurch.
The council wants the Government to develop a national policy statement on the matter.