At least one objection is likely against a decision that would finally allow a multi-million dollar wind farm to be built in South Taranaki.
Tararua Wind Power Ltd has been granted resource consents by a panel of independent commissioners to build a $325 million, 48 turbine wind farm on the coast between Waverley and Patea.
The decision, which follows hearings on the proposal held in May, gives the company 10 years to begin work on the project should it decide to go ahead with it.
The project in some form or another has already taken 10 years to get this far.
South Taranaki District Council planning manager Blair Sutherland said submitters had until July 27 to lodge an appeal with the Environment Court against the 193-page decision.
How long the process would take if appeals were lodged was difficult to guess, he said.
One of the submitters, Robert Hayes of Waverley, said it was very likely the group of residents he represented would lodge an appeal against the decision allowing the company to run the transmission lines above ground.
The residents’ group wanted the transmission lines that ran to the town buried to preserve the views in their streets and homes.
“We are disappointed the decision allows for the transmission lines to go above ground,” Hayes said.
“We don’t have any objection to the wind farm per se, although I do feel sorry for the people in its shadow, but for the people of Waverley, we simply want the transmission lines put underground.”
The decision came with a range of conditions the company must meet, including appointing a panel of four experts to monitor bird deaths and the adverse effects fo the wind farm on bird species. It also had to provide an approved monitoring plan for bird collision deaths.
The company was also required to offer mitigation planting to the owners of at least 16 properties near the wind farm site to offset its effect on their views.
Plans for a wind farm on the coast between Waverley and Patea, have been discussed and debated since 2007.
The current proposal was raised again in 2016 by Trustpower.
At that time, the company said if consent was granted, market conditions as well as a number of other factors would dictate when the project would commence.
Trustpower operates 38 hydro power stations across 19 hydroelectric power schemes, and two wind farms.
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