September 12, 2017
New Zealand

Wind farm proponents ‘should just let it go’

By Margot Taylor | Otago Daily Times | 13 September 2017 |

Opponents of a wind farm near Blueskin Bay say ”common sense has prevailed” with the Environment Court decision on Monday but the ruling comes too late for one former resident who moved away in protest.

On Monday, the court rejected an appeal of the Dunedin City Council’s 2016 decision to decline consent for a 110m turbine on Porteous Hill.

Former Pryde Rd resident Jamie Pickford said he moved from his former home, which was about 800m from the proposed site, because of the planned turbines.

”Life would be a lot more pleasurable without having to fight these organisations.”

He still followed the case and believed the group behind the proposal, Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT), had ”no community support”.

The group was not ruling out appealing the decision in the High Court but he believed the money could be better spent on other community projects.

”I think they should just let it go and have a bit of dignity doing it. Sometimes you just have to say ‘I’ve lost’ and that’s it.”

Andy Barrett, a representative from the Blueskin Amenity and Landscape Society, which was formed in opposition to the wind farm, said the group had 90 members.

”This issue has already proved to be quite divisive within the community and the time has come for the BRCT to actually take the initiative and say enough is enough.”

He believed people would be ”absolutely outraged” if the trust appealed to the High Court.

”This is supposed to be a community trust after all, and we believe it is time they actually listened to what their community members have been saying …”

The ruling was a victory for common sense, he said.

The group was particularly opposed to the wind farm because it would ”completely change the whole ambience of the bay” and would have been an ”intolerable burden” on people living nearby.

Pryde Rd resident Dr Simon Ryan said he was ”very very pleased” by the ruling.

”Basically, every time we stepped outside we would have been looking at something 110m in the air, which is absolutely massive.”

Yesterday, wind farm co-ordinator Scott Willis said he had not had a chance to read the ruling and could not rule out taking the decision to the High Court.

Mr Barrett said the Blueskin Amenity and Landscape Society would continue to fight the wind farm as long as there was a possibility it could be built.

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