Council to encourage dialogue over wind farm proposal

The Hurunui District Council has agreed to encourage dialogue between two parties at odds over a wind farm proposal for the district.

Meridian Energy is looking to establish a 31-hectare wind farm in the Greta Valley which would see 33 130-metre-tall towers and rotors installed on farm land generating 76 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 30,000 households.

Resident and local businessman John Carr, is endeavouring to convince Meridian to be part of a survey of Glenmark and the surrounding rural area to determine the level of support for the wind farm.

He yesterday asked council to take a role in urging the energy company to enter into a dialogue with his group toward this end.

The Council has agreed the Mayor will write to Meridian encouraging the two parties to sit down together, prior to the lodging of any consent application, to discuss the possibility of a mutually agreed and independent survey to provide a clear indication of the community’s position.

Mayor Winton Dalley says while the Council believes it is in everyone’s interests to keep the lines of communication open, it is not its place to give direction or become involved in the discussion itself.

“While I am happy to write a letter encouraging this dialogue, that’s as far as it goes.

“This Council cannot prejudice its position as a consent authority.

“While we believe we have a role in encouraging disparate parties in our community to come together to endeavour to resolve their issues, in this case, we will play no part in the organisation, funding or promotion of any survey.”

John Carr, who lives near Meridian’s proposed Project Hurunui wind farm, has been leading a campaign to draw attention to this scheme and several other possible wind farms on the North Canterbury hills, now at various stages of investigation.

For further information contact:

Lauren McKenzie

Communications Advisor

Hurunui District Council

03 314 0024