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Residents appeal granting of wind farm  

Credit:  Neil Ratley | The Southland Times | www.stuff.co.nz 6 August 2012 ~~

An eight-turbine wind farm on Flat Hill outside Bluff will power the community if it is allowed to go ahead, the company behind the project says.

Christchurch-based Energy3 was granted consent to build the wind farm by the Invercargill City Council commission in February.

However, the Runaka o Awarua Charitable Trust and a group of residents lodged an appeal to the Environment Court against the project.

Energy3 director Tom Cameron said he was confident the wind farm would eventually be built despite the ongoing appeal.

Mediation talks between the company and opponents were held last month and Mr Cameron said he firmly believed a resolution would be reached.

The mediation talks had been constructive, Mr Cameron said.

“It was a good way of working through the issues that have arisen from the project,” he said.

The company was eager to get started on the wind farm, Mr Cameron said.

Environment Court procedure called for both sides to attempt mediation and to inform the court of their progress.

Council planning manager Terry Boylan said mediation was ongoing between all parties.

If all parties could not come to a decision the case would go to the Environment Court, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Court said an Environment Commissioner was present at the meeting but a report had not been formalised.

Gail Thompson, spokeswoman for Te Runaka o Awarua Charitable Trust, said she could not comment on the mediation process.

FLAT HILL WIND FARM

The Invercargill City Council granted the Christchurch-based company Energy3 consent to build the wind farm in February. The wind farm would produce up to 6.8 megawatts of electricity and cost around $15 million. An appeal was made against the wind farm on the following grounds: Cultural heritage of the area has not been respected. Development did not fit into the district plan. Failed to consider the adverse effects on residents.

Source:  Neil Ratley | The Southland Times | www.stuff.co.nz 6 August 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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