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$1.6b wind farm likely if visual effect reduced  

Credit:  By Amie Hickland, Wairarapa Times-Age, www.times-age.co.nz 17 April 2012 ~~

Genesis Energy has more work to do if they want a $1.6 billion wind farm in rural Wairarapa to go ahead.

The Castle Hill Wind Farm hearing consent process has been governed by three commissioners, who released a preliminarily decision last week.

Although they indicated they are likely to give consent, Genesis Energy are to put more work into the proposal.

This includes work to reduce the adverse effect on local visual amenity values, according to Greater Wellington Regional Council.

There are also conditions to cover various traffic activities, such as traffic, earthworks and stream works.

The commissioners say the project will provide economic and social benefits to the region and ensure another source of renewable energy is available.

Genesis Energy were made aware of the preliminary consent decision last last week and released a statement yesterday.

“The Hearing Commissioners indicated that consent is likely to be granted for the proposed development of the Castle Hill wind farm in the Wairarapa,” it reads.

“The commissioners have recommended further work be carried out by Genesis Energy to assess and reduce the project’s visual impacts before a final decision can be issued.”

Genesis Energy will respond to the decision once they have reviewed it internally.

Castle Hill Wind Farm Community Action Group chairman David Nelson said the commissioners had listened to their submissions.

The group is not entirely opposed to the plan, but want to reduce the effects of the turbines in the surrounding area.

“Firstly, the commissioners have certainly taken on the concerns the submitters have had,” he said.

This includes the size of the turbines, and having plans to control traffic to the area if construction goes ahead.

Mr Nelson said some of the group’s members had put in long hours during the submission process and the preliminary decision is a credit to them.

“Who knows where to from here,” he said. “We’ve certainly had some reasonable results.”

The commissioners said the preliminary decision would be further refined before a final decision will be issued.

Source:  By Amie Hickland, Wairarapa Times-Age, www.times-age.co.nz 17 April 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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