Mt Cass Windfarm
The Environment Court has released its decision on the Mainpower proposal to establish and operate a wind farm at Mt Cass Waipara. The initial application was declined by the Hurunui District Council appointed commissioners. During extensive mediation the proposal was modified and this modified proposal was directly referred to the Court and it is this that has been granted consent.
The consent has been granted subject to an extensive suite of conditions.
The Environment Court determination demonstrates that decisions on wind farms appear to often come down to weighing up the national level benefits with the adverse effects at the local level. The Court found that while there are adverse effects on the landscape, visual character and local amenity, when viewed in totality, the outcomes for the environment are positive; that is to say better outcomes for the local ecosystem in addition to the regional national and global positives of renewable energy generation. The wind farm enables the creation and funding of the Mt Cass Conservation Management Area for the restoration of a significant limestone ecosystem. The proposed extension of the Mt Cass walkway will also make this site more accessible for both recreation and education purposes.
Mainpower have eight years to give effect to the consent.
Parties to the proceedings have an opportunity to review the conditions before the final conditions are confirmed early next year.
For further information contact:
Manager Environmental Services
Phone 03 314 0102