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Farmers want seven turbines dropped  

Credit:  JANINE RANKIN | Manawatu Standard | www.stuff.co.nz 21 July 2012 ~~

Two appeals have been lodged with the Environment Court opposing the Puketoi wind-farm consents.

Mighty River Power was last month granted consents to build its 53-turbine wind farm east of Pahiatua.

Commissioners who heard the applications issued their decision with a raft of conditions designed to overcome the most serious objections to the project.

Tararua farmers Wayne and Christine Marshall, whose Towai Rd home would be dwarfed by seven 130-metre turbines, previously turned down an offer from Mighty River Power to buy them out.

They would live closer to turbines than any other New Zealanders without a financial interest in a wind farm.

They are not impressed with conditions that reduce the height of the nearest turbines and require stands of trees to be established before construction to shield them from view.

Another condition requires MRP to pay for double-glazing their windows to reduce the noise effects.

The commissioners agreed the Marshalls would suffer significant adverse effects from the wind farm, but did not agree they should have a power of veto over the project.

They also rejected the idea of cutting the turbines closest to their house from the project because it would undermine the efficiency of the project.

The Marshalls’ lawyer, Bruce Gilmour, said the appeal asks for the seven turbines closest to their property to be dropped from the project.

The notice of appeal said the adverse visual, amenity and noise effects created by the turbines had not been adequately mitigated by the proposed conditions.

As well as the Marshalls, Makuri residents Mike and Angela Connell have appealed the decision.

They bought the town’s old Post Office as a retirement home in 2007, before they knew of the power company’s plans.

They said they would lose the peaceful living environment and scenic attractions that had brought them to the village.

Mr and Mrs Connell said in their submission that the largest turbines erected in New Zealand to date would tower over the settlement.

The Puketoi Range skyline was an outstanding natural landscape, providing views that would be ruined by the wind farm.

“The proposed development intrudes terribly on our lifestyle,” they said.

The wind farm would have capacity to power up to 150,000 homes on completion.

Its transmission line would extend over the Tararua Ranges to link with the already-consented but undeveloped Turitea Wind Farm and its connection to the national grid.

Source:  JANINE RANKIN | Manawatu Standard | www.stuff.co.nz 21 July 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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