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Week to gather objections

The sole objectors to a wind farm at Dominion Salt have been given one week to come up with submissions supporting their opposition to the plans.

A Marlborough District Council hearings subcommittee allowed Vanessa and Cyril Schonberger seven days to provide further submissions, including a medical report.

Mrs Schonberger said at yesterday’s hearing that she suffered from conditions that would be made worse by noise and “shadow flicker” from the wind farm. She also claimed she had not been given the required 10 working days notice of the meeting – a claim the council refuted.

The couple live 1.5km from where Dominion Salt want to build the turbines – the nearest home to the area.

There was an outburst at the beginning of the hearing by the owner of the land the farm will be built on, Harry Lampe. He said committee chairman David Dew should not take the Schonbergers seriously.

“I don’t believe you’re listening to this woman,” he said.

Cr Dew said the Schonbergers were being allowed the “unusual” seven days to provide further submissions so they felt they were being given a “fair go”.

Rangitane member Wayne Abbot said there had been a lack of communication from Dominion Salt about its plans, but after talking with representatives from the company he felt confident the iwi would be kept better informed.

Dominion Salt wants to build five turbines with a maximum hub height of 50 metres and rotor height of 75 metres near the processing plant.

The farm could generate enough electricity to power 1375 homes and the excess power would be sold back to the grid.

They have also lodged alternative plans for seven smaller wind turbines at the same site, but will only build one of the developments.

Their preference is the five larger turbines.

Council resource management officer Owen West agreed with five submissions made on behalf of Dominion Salt that the effect on the environment, such as noise, would be no more than minor.

There would be a visual impact, but he agreed with independent consultant landscape architect Mike Moore that the visual amenity of the area would not significantly suffer.

Resource consent should be granted, Mr West said.