Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Australia / New Zealand
Opponents of a wind farm planned for a ridgeline west of Hawke's Bay are celebrating after winning an Environment Court appeal. Hastings-based lines company Unison was granted permission by Hastings District Council to add 37 turbines to 15 for which it already had consent along the Te Waka Range skyline, around the Titiokura Saddle on the Napier-Taupo Road. But the Environment Court said the cumulative visual effects of the 37 extra turbines and another 75 turbines to be built alongside them by Hawke's Bay Windfarms would be excessive in a sensitive and distinctive landscape.
The Environment Court found that while the proposal would have positive effects in terms of climate change and had benefits in establishing a renewable energy source, this was outweighed by landscape effects and the affects on the value of the Te Waka range to local tangata whenua. "Important as the issues of climate change and the use of renewable sources of energy unquestionably are, they cannot dominate all other values. The adverse effects of the proposal on what is undoubtedly an outstanding landscape, and its adverse effects on the relationship of Maori with this land and the values it has for them, clearly bring us to the conclusion that the tipping point in favour of other values has been reached," said the decision.
An environmental expert from Rockefeller University in New York says renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass are environmentally destructive.
Wind turbines being proposed for a development near Hawkesdale will be invisible from the Tower Hill lookout and a landscape expert believes the 31-tower project won't change the character of Moyne Shire. Landscape architect Allan Wyatt told a panel hearing yesterday that strategic tree plantings would reduce the visibility of turbines from most neighbouring houses.
Turbines higher than 50-storeyed buildings on the Lammermoor Range would dominate the landscape and the Central Otago District Council's planner has recommended the Project Hayes wind farm proposal be turned down. The planning consultant's report, released to the public yesterday, expresses concern about Meridian Energy's $2 billion proposal and the effects on the iconic landscape.
Opponents of a 37-turbine wind farm proposed to be built on Te Waka Range, west of Napier, say it will have significant adverse effects on the environment and the visual landscape. The Environment Court is considering evidence from three organisations including local iwi opposed to the wind farm. It would provide sufficient power for 50,000 households. Counsel for the Outstanding Landscape Preservation Society says the site is within an area considered an outstanding natural landscape. Mathew McClelland says the turbines will dominate and disrupt the visual landscape and compromise the range's integrity. He says the benefits of wind power are undeniable but it is totally inappropriate to put turbines on the top of the range as they will appear as a clutter of mechanical structures.
Maori have attacked plans for more wind turbines in the Tararua Ranges, saying turbines are weakening the mauri (life force) and mana of the hill tops. He Kupenga Hao i te Reo (Inc) secretary Ian Christensen objected to the proposed Motorimu Wind Farm at the resource consent hearing in Palmerston North yesterday. It proposes 127 turbines for the hills behind Tokomaru and Linton. He told the three commissioners that the Tararua ridge line had enough turbines and "further desecration of the ridgeline" with more would weaken mauri to a point where the "wellbeing of people would be in jeopardy". "Manawatu has been desecrated by the pollution of human beings. We urge that the whole of the mountain range not be desecrated as well," he said.
When looking at the visual effects of hundreds of turbines on the Tararua Ranges, should a wind farm that doesn't exist be taken into account? This question is starting to loom large over Motorimu Wind Farm Ltd's application to build a 127-turbine wind farm on the Tararua Ranges behind Linton and Tokomaru. Yesterday was the third day of the resource consent hearing and the debate over how much consideration should be given to the proposed Palmerston North City Council/ Mighty River Power Turitea Reserve wind farm continued. Experts and lawyers representing the applicant say the proposed Turitea Reserve wind farm should not have any bearing on Motorimu's consent application. The debate centres around how many turbines the Tararua Ranges can support before it hits saturation level.
The visual effect of more wind turbines on an already crowded landscape could cost the proposed Motorimu wind farm 45 turbines. Motorimu Wind Farm Ltd (formerly Energreen Wind) has applied for resource consent to build a wind farm with 129 turbines. In a report to the consent hearing, due to begin next Thursday, Palmerston North City Council planner Jeff Baker recommends consent be granted for only 84 of the turbines. In a visual assessment report, landscape and resource planning consultant Clive Anstey said the wind farm as proposed would have very adverse cumulative effects.
A new landscape guardians group has been set up to fight plans for two big wind farms. The Western Plains Guardians are worried about proposals for farms at Nerrin Nerrin, south-east of Lake Bolac, and at Stockyard Hill, south of Beaufort. Each is believed to have at least 100 turbines. Group spokesman Warick Read says a moratorium on further wind farms is needed until a national code for assessing them is in place. "The groups really would like to see the Government engage with the community a little bit more and just say, 'look, just pull up on these things a little'," he said. "I suppose people are feeling as though they're being railroaded into it, that these companies propose these developments and they're over a certain size and the council doesn't really have any input into it at all. "If only they could open the guidelines a little bit more and make it a lot more transparent."
As I said, until yesterday, my thoughts and feelings were of two minds. Yesterday, that changed. Yesterday we came up onto the Lammermoors, and turned off onto a flat area beside a huge rock outcrop. We got out and looked around, standing in silence for a time, listening to the whispering grasses and the southerly wind plucking fitfully at our hair and clothes. What do you think? I asked Alex. He stood there for a time, absorbed, considering his answer (as he does) and then he replied: It’s beautiful. It’s really beautiful. As we looked across the vast moor, across the Great Moss Swamp, I told him about the wind farm, about what was proposed. Again there was silence, while he thought about it. I don’t get it, he said. How can they do that to a landscape like this? It’s just awful. We stayed there, attempting to absorb the vastness before us.
Most of the public do not want to have wind turbines in the Turitea reserve because it will destroy the Turitea bush
It may be the time to consider how wind farms fit in with the values which the Wilderness Society represents. If the Society is prepared to go through such a prolonged and worthy fight to save the forests, with all the financial and emotional costs involved, it would be consistent to regard wind farm development with the same scepticism with which it regards the wood chip industry. Both are potent adversaries to the values which I hope we share.
Shocked Dunedin councillors were forced yesterday to come to terms with the wideranging effects Meridian Energy’s Project Hayes wind farm could have on the city. A council committee has moved to oppose the wind farm, after discovering it could have “significant” adverse effects on Dunedin, even though the development will be built outside the city boundaries and the council has limited power to affect it. Some councillors were angry they had only recently heard details of the effects. These include Meridian’s expectations of a total of 76,900 vehicle movements, and the possibility of trucks weighing up to 125 tonnes and as long as 60m, rumbling down Riccarton Rd in Mosgiel, Mountfort St in Outram, and the Old Dunstan Rd. The wind farm was also expected to have adverse effects on the character and amenity of rural-zoned land, significant outstanding landscape, and fire safety, a report by council resource consent manager Alan Worthington said.
The south-west WA group opposed to the Denmark community wind farm doubts its proponents will be able to raise enough money to build it. The wind farm committee says the project, near Ocean Beach, could supply up to 60 per cent of Denmark’s power, but opponents argue it will be a blight on a scenic coastal landscape. The final feasibility study on the wind farm concluded the project will cost $2.6 million, and the committee hopes half that will come from Federal Government grants, despite Environment Minister Ian Campbell’s criticisms of the project. Peter Mortimer from the South Coast Landscape Guardians says the wind farm would have more support if it was in a less sensitive location.
The foundations of a new source of electricity are being laid at White Hill, near Mossburn, that by May will transform the landscape into a towering army of marching windmills, each stretching more than 100m into the sky. The wind turbine project, a first for Southland, is being built for electricity generator Meridian Energy at a projected cost of $110 million and, when all 29 turbines are commissioned – scheduled for late next year – their combined output would be capable of powering most of Southland, including Invercargill City. Meridian expects that the first of the turbines will be running by May.
A wind farm in the Turitea Reserve could ruin the city water supply. Erosion could be a problem that would be difficult to overcome, a Massey University geography professor says. The $1 million a year the Palmerston North City Council is hoping to get for its wind farm might not be enough to pay for the damage it does, John Flenley says. The problem is the removal of vegetation – native bush or scrub, whatever – to install the turbines themselves, as well as the road construction needed to the site. And it could take 100 years for all that vegetation to grow back.
The Tararua-Aokautere Guardians believe that the Manawatu landscape cannot support this number of wind farms without irreplaceable damage being done to our natural landscape. Should Manawatu sacrifice all of its ridges and hilltops for the benefit of greater New Zealand? When does “enough” become too much?
A landscape architect says 37 wind turbines proposed for Te Waka Range in Hawke's Bay, would have a major adverse effect on the environment.
The visual effect of a proposed wind farm on Te Waka Range near Te Pohue on State Highway 5 was the hot topic of discussion during the second day of a resource consent hearing at the Hastings District Council chambers yesterday.