November 28, 2007
New Zealand

Windfarm generates opposition

Public submissions on the proposed Waverley wind turbine farm are overwhelmingly opposed to the project, mainly on the grounds of turbine height, noise, vibration and the effect on the coastal landscape.

But there are some heavyweights among submitters who want the $300 million development to proceed, and they include the Ministry of Economic Development, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, the NZ Wind Energy Association and the Sustainable Whanganui Action Group.

A date has not yet been set for the consent hearing.

South Taranaki District Council released the submissions yesterday. They total 127 received by the deadline of 4pm on November 16, but 11 have no name, no address or illegible names.

That leaves 94 against Allco Wind Energy’s resource consent application, and 18 in favour. Two are neutral and one opposes transmission pylons across her farm.

Of the opponents, 27 are from people living away from Taranaki or Wanganui. Ten are in the same handwriting.

Allco wants to erect 45 turbines measuring 150 metres to blade tip on the former Waipipi ironsands mining site, in two clusters on the farms of Warwick Lupton and David Alexander.

One opponent is Mr Alexander’s cousin and neighbour, Nigel Alexander, who lists his concerns as visual impact, disruption to farming, noise, heavy traffic, effects on land values, bird-nesting sites and flight paths.

David Alexander’s submission says he wants the windfarm on his property “to keep the towns of Waverley and Patea going”.

His business partner, Warwick Lupton, says few people, if any, will be adversely affected by the windfarm.

The key submission is from the strongest opponent, Roger Dickie, who is prepared use his cheque book to stop the windfarm because he says it will devalue his partially consented residential subdivision nearby.

His solicitor, Jolene Patuawa, of Kensington Swan, alleges the turbines will change an outstanding coastal landscape, that the development is contrary to regional and district planning policy, and that Allco has failed to consult adequately with affected parties.

By Richard Woodd

Taranaki Daily News

29 November 2007

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