Zoning/Planning and Australia / New Zealand
A wind farm project, selected by the Labour Government to be fast-tracked through the resource consent process, has been turned down by the Environment Court.
The proposed 34-turbine wind farm near the Te Waka Range in Hawke's Bay was rejected in a court decision yesterday, lines company Unison company said.
The company refused to say why the court had turned down its proposal, but chief executive Ken Sutherland said on the basis of this decision a legislative change would be needed for such schemes to succeed in the future.
The layout of 31 wind turbines proposed for Hawkesdale will go on display tomorrow.
The proposed wind farm’s turbines would be visible from the Woolsthorpe Heywood Road, Camerons Road and Warrnambool Road, and will be within three kilometres from some homes.
People have seven weeks to comment on the proposed layout, before a planning panel sits to hear formal submissions.
The site chosen for Meridian Energy's proposed wind farm on the Lammermoor Range west of Middlemarch was not an outstanding landscape and was of no particular significance, the first day of Project Hayes hearings in Alexandra was told yesterday.
Central Otago District Council began considering an application for the country's largest windfarm on Monday.
Meridian Energy wants to build up to 176 wind turbines, covering 92 square kilometres, with a generation capacity of 630 megawatts, on the Lammermoor Range between Alexandra and Dunedin.
More than 1000 submissions have been received on Project Hayes, with slightly more than half of them in favour of the project.
Judge Jon Jackson, commissioners Alex Sutherland and Heather McConachy, and deputy commissioner Ken Fletcher will hear arguments relating to the construction logistics and effects of the 176-turbine development proposed for the Lammermoor Range.
In May, the first two weeks of the six-week hearing centred on landscape and visual impacts of the wind farm.
The next two weeks of hearings, held at the Golden Gate Lodge conference facility, are scheduled to adjourn on August 8, before the final two weeks of hearings take place at Dunedin in late August.
Horizons Regional Council says it is right behind Environment Commissioner Morgan Williams’ call for regional councils to take a lead in managing wind farm development. Dr Williams’ report Wind Power, People and Place, was tabled in Parliament last week.
Horizons chairman Garry Murfitt said he agrees with Dr Williams’ recommendation that regional councils take a leadership role in developing a proactive, strategic approach to wind power.
Ratepayers will be lumped with hefty bills if proposed changes to the Resource Management Act go ahead, the Palmerston North City Council is warning.
The council has spent $475,000 on the call-in for the Turitea Wind Farm, and says moves to make call-ins easier mean more councils will face similar bills.
But Environment Minister Nick Smith said councils should not spend that much, and could choose not to submit.