Turitea residents likely to be affected by construction of the first part of Mercury’s wind farm on Palmerston North’s eastern fringe have their first chance to meet the developers on Wednesday.
Mercury has called the meeting to set up a community liaison group, as conditions on its resource consent demand it do at least 60 days before starting work.
But it is also seeking clarification about whether its plans to start construction on August 8 are in line with the conditions.
A Mercury spokeswoman said there were “inconsistencies” in the wording of the requirements, so it had applied for a variation of the conditions to ensure its timeframes complied.
The application to the Palmerston North City and Tararua District councils would be considered by independent resource management commissioner Paul Rogers.
Mercury said the changes were likely to be considered minor and it was unlikely the matter would have a public hearing.
Nearby residents, who did not hear from Mercury until nearly a month after its public announcement the wind farm was going ahead, were worried about being rushed.
Ngahere Park Rd resident and submitter at the Board of Inquiry hearings about the wind farm nine years ago Jan Dixon said it was a concern Mercury was already trying to change the rules.
“They are not sticking to the agreement, which indicates their attitude to people.”
Kahuterawa Rd resident Detlef Klein said he and his neighbours did not know Mercury was seeking a variation.
Kereru Drive resident Clare Rowe said she was disappointed Mercury had not talked to neighbours earlier.
“I’ll be going into the meeting with an open mind.
“But we certainly want to appoint a good, strong representative to this group who will keep local residents and everybody else informed.”
Some 450 invitations to the meeting have been sent out to groups and residents living within 3.5 kilometres of the wind farm site or who would be near the transmission lines, or used roads that would carry construction traffic.
The meeting is at the Manawatū Golf Club at 5.30pm on Wednesday, with opportunities during the afternoon for people to have private discussions with Mercury staff.
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