Common sense has prevailed and a plan for a three-turbine wind farm which would have devastated Porteous Hill residents has been quashed, a neighbour says.
Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust proposed erecting three 90m turbines on Porteous Hill less than 500m from Simon Ryan and Jennifer Ashby’s Pryde Rd home.
Commissioner Colin Weatherall yesterday declined consent, saying the proposal’s adverse effects on nearby residents could not be adequately minimised.
Mrs Ashby said the decision provided the couple with some relief, but they would not celebrate until the 15-working-day appeal period had passed.
“It’s been extremely stressful and unpleasant,” she said.
“We have huge community backing here. We have had so many people congratulate us this morning.”
The trust had hopes the $5million-$6million project would return $100,000 a year in profits for community needs and causes.
The proposal drew the ire of nearby neighbours who said property prices, quality of life and even, possibly, health would be negatively affected by the installations.
Mrs Ashby said the proposal was “far more intrusive” than necessary.
She and other neighbours would have supported the installation of solar panels for renewable energy generation for the community.
“There are already more subtle ways of generating energy,” she said.
“They [wind turbines] are a pretty violent technology.
“It would be devastating and virtually make our property unsaleable.”
Trust chairman Craig Marshall said the group would take time to assess its options.
“We are disappointed, of course, and we will have to think about what that means and what we are going to do,” he said.
The trust would have to assess whether there was grounds for an appeal, but a down-sized operation and abandoning the process were options.
“One of the problems for us is we are a local organisation with limited resources,” Dr Marshall said.
“Part of what we were trying to do was show local organisations with limited resources could make a difference.”
It was “possible” the trust would look at other sites for the proposal. However, “given the time we have to collect data, that would have to be a new project essentially”.
In declining the proposal, Mr Weatherall said his decision was significantly influenced by the adverse effects the wind farm would have on the amenity and character of three Pryde Rd properties.
“These effects were not able to be mitigated.
“It’s not a heart decision. It’s a head decision because it’s important to deal with the facts.
“The RMA [Resource Management Act] is quite directive in the steps that have to be taken.”
The trust has until early August to lodge an appeal with the Environment Court.
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