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Unison Stage 2 Wind Farm Decision

Unison Stage 2 Wind Farm Decision

After two weeks of hearing submissions and three days of deliberations the Hearings Committee of the Hastings District Council has unanimously approved an application by Unison Networks Ltd to construct and operate a 37 turbine wind farm on parts of the Te Waka Range.

Cr Dinah Williams, chair of the Hearing Committee, said the committee had undertaken vigorous and lengthy deliberations to arrive at its decision. Each negative and positive environmental effect which may arise from the proposal was debated by the Committee. Cr Williams said, “I believe the committee made a very carefully thought through and robust decision.”

In making its decision, the Committee had to balance the visual and landscape effects of the wind farm against the benefits of electricity generation from renewable resources. Associated benefits were also taken into account, in terms of certainty of electricity supply for the community and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Cr Williams said the Committee’s decision reflected their view that the benefits of the wind farm for the community outweighed any visual effects.

Some 53 conditions have been placed on the approval, dealing with issues such as earthworks, ecology, traffic management, noise and environmental monitoring.

Cr Williams said the Committee would like to acknowledge the well researched and thoughtful submissions presented, both in support of and opposing the application.

Cr Williams recognises some people will be disappointed by the decision, but hopes they will read the hearing decision carefully, as this acknowledges many of the concerns raised. The conditions of consent address a number of the requests made.

Today, a full copy of the decision has been mailed to all submitters who then have 15 working days to lodge any appeal to the Environment Court.

The full decision can also be found on the Council’s web site www.hastingsdc.govt.nz


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