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Residents to challenge wind farm decision

Opponents today vowed to fight the resource consent granted to Meridian Energy to build 70 super-sized wind turbines near Makara in Wellington.

The contentious $380-million Project West Wind was given approval by Wellington City Council yesterday.

The turbines, covering a 56-square-kilometre area known as Quartz Hill and Terawhiti Station, were subject to an eight-week submission hearing ending last month. The council received 4337 submissions, mostly supporting the project.

However Makara Guardians spokeswoman Jenny Jorgensen said their fears had not been addressed.

Turbines of the size proposed are not thought to have been built so close to a populated area anywhere in the world.

Ms Jorgensen told National Radio: "The Makara community will, in fact, be guinea pigs for this proposal and Meridian Energy has lined them up as close as they can to the people."

"We have good wind flow throughout the country, we have only four million people and so we don't have to have wind turbines in anybody's backyard."

Overseas experience showed a public backlash against wind power because there were negative impacts, and energy companies had swept them under the carpet, she said.

The 70 turbines would create noise problems and their construction would cause massive destruction to the local environment.

Plans were already under way to appeal the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The contentious $380-million Project West Wind was given approval by Wellington City Council yesterday.
 
The turbines, covering a 56-square-kilometre area known as Quartz Hill and Terawhiti Station, were subject to an eight-week submission hearing ending last month. The council received 4337 submissions, mostly supporting the project.
 
However Makara Guardians spokeswoman Jenny Jorgensen said their fears had not been addressed.
 
Turbines of the size proposed are not thought to have been built so close to a populated area anywhere in the world.
 
Ms Jorgensen told National Radio: "The Makara community will, in fact, be guinea pigs for this proposal and Meridian Energy has lined them up as close as they can to the people."
 
"We have good wind flow throughout the country, we have only four million people and so we don't have to have wind turbines in anybody's backyard."
 
Overseas experience showed a public backlash against wind power because there were negative impacts, and energy companies had swept them under the carpet, she said.
 
The 70 turbines would create noise problems and their construction would cause massive destruction to the local environment.
 
Plans were already under way to appeal the decision to the Environment Court.
 
A report, compiled by a board of commissioners chaired by Councillor Robert Armstrong, described the proposed wind farm as an environmentally responsible method of providing energy to New Zealand.
 
Meridian Energy chief executive Keith Turner said the fact that all 70 turbines had been approved was testament to the quality and robustness of the proposal.
 
At full capacity, the wind farm will generate 210 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 110,000 homes, or roughly all the homes in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Porirua cities.
 
The consent covers the construction of the 125-metre tall turbines, as well as the movement of an estimated 1.7 million cubic metres of soil to create turbine platforms and access roads.
 
The consent also outlines the improvement of access roads to Makara, and restrictions on heavy machinery in and out of the site via roads and sea access at Oteranga Bay.


Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/s...

DEC 22 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/791-residents-to-challenge-wind-farm-decision
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