The Dunedin City Council says the proposed Mahinerangi wind farm will have an adverse impact on its landscape, despite no turbines being built within its boundaries.
TrustPower had initially proposed a wind farm which included land within Dunedin but, after consulta tion, it had scaled back its proposal to a 200MW wind farm, solely within the Clutha district.
In a council submission yesterday, city council landscape architect Barry Knox said the wind farm would have a significant adverse effect on the broad natural character values of the Lammermoor range and its high country outstanding landscape area, within the Dunedin city.
Although the wind farm was outside the city boundaries, he said, the values of areas within the city district potentially would be affected.
The landscape read as one coher ent, continuous entity, ignoring terri torial boundaries. Placing a series of humanbuilt elements would have the effect of diminishing the natural character values of the landscape.
To consider the development tem porary was unrealistic as it would be around for a con siderable period of time.
Visual simula tions were useful but failed to explain the sense of expansiveness, quiet and solitude experienced in the open landscape, he said.
Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society field officer Sue Maturin said tall pale coloured towers would intro duce an industrial element to an otherwise rural landscape.
The 68ha block TrustPower was going to regenerate to native bush was significantly modified and had been grazed by cattle.
It would take many years to become native bush.
She suggested TrustPower should purchase a large area of open space and give it to the conservation estate, as part of a mitigation package.
New Zealand Wind Energy Association chief executive Fraser Clark said the expected output from Mahine rangi was excellent from both a national and international perspec tive.
The public supported wind energy and there had been a lot of misinformation spread about the issue of noise from wind turbines.
Noise from wind turbines was similar to noise in a library.
Large wind farms could not be built near cities which needed power, as there was too much com petition for land.
Lee Stream farmers Robert and Jill Reid said they had built their house many years ago to take advan tage of the views.
These views would be totally dominated by the proposed turbines.
Traffic on the road would affect farming operations. If the proposal went ahead it would destroy the community, Mr Reid said.
He was concerned over impact on water tables and the risk of importing seeds through use of water from Lake Mahinerangi.
Lake Mahinerangi resident Annette Joel said the landforms of the site were unique to Otago and New Zealand.
She had been handicapped by the lack of crucial information from TrustPower and reports were too slow coming from the power company.
By Steve Hepburn
Otago Daily Times
24 May 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding