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Environment Court Upholds Council Decision

Environment Court Upholds Council Decision

Porirua City Council's Proposed Plan Change 7, for management of commercial scale wind farm proposals in the city, has been upheld by the Environment Court.

The Environment Court released its decision yesterday with just a couple of amendments required to the Council's March 2010 decision that had been appealed to the Environment Court by Mighty River Power Ltd and NZ Wind Energy Inc.

The plan change requires wind turbines to be at least 700m away from a zone boundary or the boundary of a site not part of the wind farm or otherwise the wind farm proposal becomes a non-complying activity.

"We are pleased that the Environment Court has upheld our plan change and that we are now a step closer to making the proposed plan change operative," says District Plan Review Subcommittee Chairperson Cllr Tim Sheppard.

"This is huge milestone for the Council and the first plan change of its type in New Zealand for managing commercial-scale wind farms in the rural area.

"The Council believes we have got a good balance between recognising the benefits of developing renewable energy resources and managing any potential adverse effects to those in the immediate vicinity and further a field."

Cllr Sheppard says the Council is waiting to see whether the Environment Court's decision will be challenged by further appeals to the High Court but hopes that Mighty River Power Ltd and NZ Wind Energy Inc accept the Environment Court decision.

A copy of the Environment Court decision is available for download on the homepage of the Council website www.pcc.govt.nz.


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