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Group to fight southern wind farm

A lobby group formed to fight a proposed North Canterbury wind farm wants MainPower to move to another site.

The Mount Cass Ridge Protection Society says it supports wind generation and recognises the potential for it in North Canterbury, but is opposed to the Mount Cass location, on the coast east of Waipara.

MainPower lodged an application for the wind farm late last month, claiming it would put $38 million into the local economy and provide enough power for homes in the Hurunui and Waimakariri districts with only “minor or no” adverse ecological impact on the Mount Cass ridgeline.

But the society says the unique limestone landscape would be irreversibly damaged and the proposal should be moved north-east of its present site or to another “windy ridgeline” in the district.

Fred Murray, a society committee member, said yesterday the wind farm would “irretrievably” destroy the environmental values of the ridgeline and the “primeval” feel of the landscape would be lost because of the supporting roading.

“The ridge’s dominant position in the landscape and visually overwhelming natural character would be spoiled by the imposition of the towers, the road, which involves massive amounts of cut and fill, working areas and the disposal of excess rock,” he said.

The society was incorporated last week and has around 30 members. It has set up a website at www.aridgetoofar.org.nz.

The website says the society has been formed to give people a voice to oppose the proposal and sets out submissions forms and a forum to offer views.

By Robyn Bristow

The Press


11 July 2008