Gisborne South residents have launched a campaign to “protect their backyard” from future wind farm projects.
A group called No Sunbury Windfarm has been formed. West Wind, which has an office in Gisborne, has constructed a 10-metre tower to gather wind speed information at 250 Dalrymple Road in Gisborne South, with a prospect of developing a six-tower wind farm on land near Red Rock.
West Wind’s general manger Toby Geiger says the company is simply investigating the site because there is “no reliable” wind speed data available for the area.
“We’ve put a small monitoring tower in, and we’re not in any great rush to develop a great big project,” he said.
“Rest assured, if things get more serious, after initial studies, which we haven’t done yet, if there is a clear possibility of developing a wind farm, we would start engaging with the community.”
Gisborne South resident Jan Andrews, a concerned resident who owns a property nearby, says there is one landholder who has allowed West Wind to use his land but there would be thousands of residents who would be affected by the turbines.
“Many properties within a 5-kilometre radius of the site will drop significantly in value, if they can be sold at all,” she said.
Nicole and Jonathan Weatherall, who are building a home on a nearby property, say they moved to the area for its lifestyle and picturesque landscapes.
“We moved into the country to have peace and quiet, to look at our landscapes and the mountains,” Mrs Weatherall said.
“We have put everything into buying land and building our dream home. I’m all for green energy, don’t get me wrong, but this is happening on our back door.”
Mr Geiger said if wind speed information was reasonable at 10metres, subsequent towers would be constructed at 80 to 100metres. “There is a robust process in place that allows the community full input. Consultation will happen at the appropriate time.”
A public meeting is on at the Sunbury Aquatic Centre’s Blue Room at 7pm November 23 to discuss the implications of the wind farm.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding