Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Australia / New Zealand
The Nationals Member for Burrinjuck, Katrina Hodgkinson, has welcomed the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms, which were released recently, and said the report addresses many of the concerns held by local communities. "The proliferation of Industrial Wind Power Stations in the region of the Burrinjuck electorate is of concern to many local residents," Ms Hodgkinson said.
Following a six-month investigation, findings from a parliamentary inquiry into rural wind farms were released last week, which included recommending more community consultation on developments and a two-kilometre setback from dwellings. The General Purpose Standing Committee made 21 recommendations including research into compensation options for affected residents, the consideration of local government development control plans, noise modelling.
Southern landscape architects are "staggered " by claims the Department of Conservation is not an expert on landscapes. Otago conservator Marian van der Goes made the comments at an Otago Conservation Board meeting last month, in response to criticism about Doc's lack of involvement in the Project Hayes wind farm hearings and appeal.
Councils are clamping down on big developments in the Wellington region to protect outstanding landscapes. The lifestyle property boom and big wind farm projects are about to be slapped with stringent controls as Greater Wellington regional council begins a review of the area's most dramatic scenery in a bid to control piecemeal development.
Wind power - the great green hope to ease fragile electricity supply - is being buffetted from all sides. Wind farm neighbours, courts and economics are hammering away at plans to expand the industry which now provides around 3 per cent of our power but is forecast to grow to 20 per cent within the next 15 years. Wind's main proponent, state-owned Meridian Energy, is likely within the next few days to announce it will fight an Environment Court ruling which killed off one of the biggest wind farms in the world.
While the National-led Government stumbles blindly along the crooked path towards emissions trading legislation, dragging a naive Maori Party partner with it, there is one piece of news we can rejoice over. That is the refusal by the Environment Court to allow a whacking great ugly wind farm to be built by Meridian Energy in Central Otago. ...if implemented, the scheme would irredeemably sacrifice an outstanding landscape for questionable and overstated short-term benefits.
It was always going to be one of the biggest things to hit Otago, whether you were for Project Hayes or against it. So it was no surprise it took two hearings to reach a decision on whether Meridian Energy could build its $2 billion wind farm on the Lammermoor Range. Two thousand pages of evidence were presented at the first hearing in Alexandra, held over 20 days from May to July 2007, with approval announced on October 31, 2007. But those opposed to the 176-turbine proposal appealed, saying they wanted a second shot at protecting precious Central Otago hinterland.
The Environment Court's decision to decline Meridian Energy's controversial Project Hayes wind farm on the Lammermoor Range could spell the end of large-scale electricity generation development in Central Otago, Mayor Malcolm Macpherson said yesterday. While he had not seen the 350 page decision, he assumed the main reason for declining consent was the special landscapes. "And if that's the case, it might set one of the most important precedents for Central Otago, Otago, and New Zealand.
Colin Patterson, NP Power
Meridian Energy, the state-owned energy company, wants to build a wind farm in front of our vineyard, atop a beautiful range known for centuries as Nga Waka a Kupe - the canoes of Kupe. ...But this won't just affect our front yard. With 45 turbines twice as high as the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and blades twice as large as the Westpac Stadium, sited 8km from the town square, this could be the end of Martinborough as we know and love it. The tourism industry our economy depends on - wine festivals, outdoor concerts, homestays, weddings, cycling - will they continue with noise from these turbines?
A Tamworth public inquiry into wind farms in the northern tablelands has heard the developments do not comply with local planning guidelines. The New South Wales Planning Department has bypassed local government controls to push the projects through. A number of residents told the inquiry that noise and vibrations from the turbines will force them to move if the projects go ahead in their current form.
Over the seven weeks, commissioners, lawyers, court staff, noise experts, landscape architects, ecological experts, social researchers, engineers and even the press were paid to be in the room. Submitters, on the other hand, were spending time away from work, some of them using up annual leave – something they pointed out when Mighty River Power effectively extended the process by embarking on its redesign. The power company's concession – one of the most significant developments from the hearing so far – followed stinging criticism of the planned farm's visual impact.
An Allendale East dairy farmer says he is not prepared to pull his blinds down to keep flashing lights out at night, nor will he put up with the endless noise of humming wind turbines if the proposed Allendale Wind Farm goes ahead on his doorstep. Richard Paltridge told The Border Watch he strongly objects to the multi-million dollar green power project with 49 turbines, which is currently awaiting approval before construction can start next year. "I love this area, it's beautiful and I don't want the scenery spoiled by high towers when I am going to have 13 turbines within close view," he said.
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.
People who find themselves living next door to a wind farm are unlikely to have their land compulsorily acquired, despite some residents complaining that the turbines are hurting their health. Michael Pickering, an expert on compulsory acquisition with LAC Lawyers in Melbourne, said there is no straightforward legal process open to landowners who believe their properties should have been acquired before energy companies were permitted to erect large turbines.
The man who says Palmerston North is on the verge of saturation point from wind turbines has come under fire for his methodology. The Turitea Wind Farm board of inquiry hearing resumed yesterday, and after giving evidence earlier in the proceedings, social impact assessment specialist James Baines returned to the witness stand. The board is tasked with deciding if the 121-turbine wind farm should go ahead.
Mighty River Power's planned positioning of some turbines at Turitea Wind Farm flies in the face of Palmerston North City Council's efforts to keep them away from houses, a board of inquiry has been told. The power company's 121-turbine proposal failed to meet the "spirit and intent" of the city council's 2006 decision that made a wind farm at Turitea possible, city lawyer John Maassen 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.
Angry farmers are demanding wind farms bury their power lines. Hundreds of turbines have been proposed throughout the Ballarat region. While many residents have accepted that wind farms will be a part of life in the area, they say the companies building them should foot the bill to put the power lines underground.
Some will tilt at them, but it would seem a pointless exercise: a surge in windmill construction is set to recast the Victorian landscape. Two needs - offsetting the state's electricity-hungry new desalination plant and meeting an incoming national renewable energy target - are to trigger a huge expansion of wind power across the state.