The Wellington Mayor says a compensation deal between council and the developers of a proposed windfarm at Bodgangora has come at a “considerable cost”.
Rod Buhr says the $2 million Voluntary Planning Agreement with Infigen Energy will be used to upgrade and maintain local roads and to develop a community benefit fund.
Councillor Buhr says the VPA is to ensure the local community is not disadvantaged by the development and will only go ahead if it is approved.
“Look, a lot of work’s been done on this by council’s General Manager, we’ve also had to employ a consultant who specialises in the development of VPAs,” he said.
“So this has come at some considerable cost to council – we’ve pushed the envelope on this as far as we can.
“It’s a commercial arrangement between Wellington Council and the proponent, so at the end of the day, you’ve got to reach a compromise position and that’s where we’ve come to it, with it, now.”
The council says the money will also be used to will regularly independently audit the windfarm to ensure it operates within planning laws.
Councillor Buhr says the money would be spent over the 25 year expected life of the windfarm.
“That will be broken down to cover fixing roads, improving infrastructure, a community benefit fund.
“Then there’s a third fund money will be put into, every three, four, five years, we’ll independently audit the windfarm to make sure it’s being carried out in compliance in the original development application and approval.”
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