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‘Friends’ get go-ahead for wind farm appeal

CHESTER – The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (URB) has ruled that a residents’ group and Homburg Land Bank Corporation have the right to appeal a proposed wind farm.

The groups are appealing a development agreement between the Municipality of Chester and Nova Scotia Power Incorporated, Minas Basin Pulp and Power Limited and Oxford Frozen Foods Limited to construct a wind turbine facility known as the South Canoe Project. The $200-million wind farm would see the development of 34 turbines on a 3,044-hectare property.

But the municipality and the developers asked the URB to quash the appeal stating the Friends and Homburg are not “aggrieved persons” according to the Municipal Government Act. On May 16, the URB heard submissions from all parties.

Last week the URB issued a ruling disagreeing with the municipality and the developers, finding instead that the Friends of South Canoe and Homburg Land Bank Corporation did, in fact, meet the definition of an “aggrieved person.”

“While the board agrees that the grounds advanced by the Friends … are not perfectly framed, it has concluded that sufficient substance is contained within them to … support their appeal,” wrote the URB in its decision.

As a result, the public hearing will proceed on May 30 at 10 a.m. and June 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the New Ross fire hall.

The Friends has reported that the appeal “focuses on the lack of consideration by council of the impacts on health and property values of the development on the surrounding members of the community and properties.”