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Wind farm set to appeal noise breach decision

The operator of Te Rere Hau wind farm is appealing part of the Environment Court decision that found the facility was breaching its resource consent.

NZ Windfarms Ltd chief executive Chris Sadler said that the publicly traded company had finished an initial review of the Environment Court decision.

That decision, released last month, found a condition of Te Rere Hau’s resource consent was being breached as the farm was operating at noise levels higher than what had been predicted in the company’s application.

Mr Sadler said NZ Windfarms had decided to lodge an appeal against one aspect of the Environment Court decision “following advice from its legal experts that it has reasonable grounds for appeal”.

NZ Windfarms staff also planned to meet with the Palmerston North City Council to work through the matters raised in the court’s decision and find resolutions, Mr Sadler said.

“[NZ Windfarms] would like to ensure that the Te Rere Hau wind farm’s operations contribute positively to the community and are fully compliant with their resource consent conditions.”

Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford said the council was aware of the appeal, as were the affected residents.

“Council is continuing to actively work with residents and NZ Windfarms Ltd with the aim of bringing forth a satisfactory resolution.”

The Palmerston North City Council made an application to the Environment Court late last year after receiving hundreds of noise complaints from residents around Te Rere Hau.

In its decision released last month, the court ruled the noise effects on residents were “considerably greater” than those predicted in the resource consent application.

This put the 97-turbine wind farm on the Tararua Range in breach of its resource consent as noise levels were louder than what had been listed in the application.