The judgment of a board of inquiry tasked with deciding whether a large wind farm should be built near Palmerston North will not be revealed until next year.
A hearing into the proposed Turitea Wind Farm finished in March and the board has now told submitters its decision won’t be released until January, 2011.
Mighty River Power wants to build up to 104 turbines on the Tararua Range near Palmerston North, but its proposal attracted a lot of local opposition.
Ngahere Park Rd resident Lyn Bebb said the inquiry had already taken a long time, including a delay when the power company came up with a redesigned scheme.
“I think it’s a very long time to be making a decision,” she said.
But Palmerston North businessman Simon Barnett said it was important for the board to take the time to make a high-quality decision as the impact of it on the community could be felt for decades.
Kahuterawa Rd landowner Tony Stewart said he felt the longer the decision-making process took, the greater the chance the proposal would be rejected or significantly altered.
The board presided over a 10-week hearing spanning nine months, in a process costing millions of dollars.
Judge Shonagh Kenderdine, chairwoman of the inquiry, said board members had met on a number of occasions, but they also had other commitments. “This is a busy time when all our resources are under pressure.
“A number of logistical publishing arrangements need to be made before the decision can be released and these are estimated to take up to a month.”
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