The proponents of an aviation-related business park beside the Collingwood Regional Airport say they’re disappointed in the province’s decision to approve an eight-turbine wind energy project near the facility.
Remo Niceforo, the principal behind the Clearview Aviation Business Park, said he was both disappointed and surprised the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change approved the Renewable Energy Approval application for WPD Canada’s Fairview Wind project.
The turbines, which will be 500 feet tall, will be located in an area around County Road 91 and Fairgrounds Road. At least two of the turbines, according to officials with the Collingwood Regional Airport, are within a 2.1-kilometre radius of the airport’s runway and could affect take-off and landing approaches for pilots.
WPD Canada has claimed, based on its own studies, that the turbines would have a minimal impact on the facility, affecting perhaps three out of the 12,000 or so flight movements every year at the airport.
In a news release, Niceforo indicated his company would be reviewing the province’s decision and its potential impact on the business park development.
An official plan amendment for the project is currently under review by County of Simcoe planning staff. It has also applied to Clearview Township for a zoning bylaw amendment.
“In the coming days we will focus our efforts on establishing a reasonable path forward in conjunction with our municipal partners, while fully exploring the implications of this most unfortunate decision,” he stated.
Niceforo could not be reached for further comment. In 2014, when plans for the business park were unveiled, Niceforo suggested that any approval of the wind energy project could prove to be a “showstopper” for potential tenants.
On Friday, company spokesperson Paul Bonwick would only note that the company would be reaching out to Clearview and Collingwood to “figure out the best path forward.”
The MOECC’s decision can be appealed within 15 days of the Feb. 11 release of the approval.
Niceforo extended his appreciation to Clearview and Collingwood councils for their support of the project.
“There should be no confusion on the part of our neighbours and fellow residents; both Clearview and Collingwood councils have demonstrated true leadership in the defense of their communities and respective economies, and for that we are grateful,” he said.
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