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Visual effect diminished at distance  

The difference between erecting 66 and 100 wind turbines was not overly significant and would not look much different from a distance, a resource consent hearing was told yesterday.

Clutha District Council and Otago Regional Council staff outlined their recommending reports in approving consents, with conditions, for a 200MW wind farm at Mahinerangi.

Clutha District Council plan ning consultant Allan Cubitt said the district plan always anticipated something like this would happen in the district.

TrustPower has a development envelope for the 1723ha site, and will be finetuning its application including the actual loca tion of turbines, should it gain consent.

Mr Cubitt said he was entirely comfortable with the envelope approach and it had been used in the district before for roading, landing sites and forestry.

TrustPower could not be expected to come up with a final design and siting of the turbines, which would cost millions, if it did not have consent.

“˜”˜The reality is some of them have to be moved because of seismic issues,” he said.

From a distance, the overall effect of 66 as opposed to 100 turbines was very similar.

TrustPower had not yet decided on the exact number of turbines it would install.

He felt constraints on the national grid restricting the transmission of electricity north would be overcome quickly by national authorities.

It was also outside the realm of the Resource Management Act to act over transmission issues.

Traffic was an issue which could be avoided through management. A road was a road and people had a right to use it.

He said there was an area of land within Dunedin City boundaries which was between the proposed location for the wind farm and land designated as outstanding natural land scape.

However, this area of land had no designation.

Submitters had given a good description of what Mahinerangi meant to them and it was up to the commissioners to decide how highly they rated amenity values.

Otago Regional Council consents officer Mathew Bell said water taken from Lake Mahinerangi was unlikely to spread gorse and broom seed.

By Steve Hepburn

Otago Daily Times

25 May 2007


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