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.
“There would be an obvious presence of turbines extending from the Manawatu Gorge to Tokomaru.
“Turbines are already assuming a dominating presence along the top ridges of the Tararua ridges.”
Some of the Motorimu turbines would add to this sense of invasiveness, he said.
Acoustic consultant Nigel Lloyd did not support 20 turbines for potential noise reasons.
The proposed wind farm will stretch 6.5km along the Tararua Ranges behind Kendalls Line, Millricks Line, Scotts Road, Williams Road and Tokomaru East Road.
The maximum height of the proposed turbines is 81m.
Construction of the turbines will require 12,000 truck trips. The heavy vehicles will use Williams Road, which can expect 100 movements a day with a peak flow of 10 to 20 movements an hour. Lighter vehicles will use Scotts Road.
The council received 220 submissions to the consent application – 41 in support (19 percent), 165 against (75 percent) and 14 (or 6 percent) were neutral.
Five of the planned 129 wind turbines are in the Horowhenua District and 124 within the Palmerston North city boundary.
By Helen Harvey
1 March 2007
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