DCC planner reserves wind farm position

A Dunedin City Council planner is no longer recommending consent be approved for a wind farm project which has "polarised" Blueskin Bay.

The depth of feeling in the community about the project was highlighted by the packed public gallery at today's resource consent hearing for Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust's (BRCT) $5 to $6 million proposal to build three wind turbines on Porteous Hill.

Among the residents of Blueskin Bay at the meeting was Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei.

After earlier recommending consent be approved, council planner Darryl Sycamore told the hearing he would now be reserving his position until the end of the hearing given changes made to the proposal.

He said his original recommendation was based on "information available at the time, which was considerably light on some specific details".

A report tabled at the meeting said there were 73 submissions in support of the project, 68 opposed and five neutral.

BRCT manager Scott Willis and his counsel Bridget Irving summarised the proposal and why they believed resource consent should be granted.

In response to questions from commissioner Colin Weatherall, Mr Willis said supporters of the project were surprised by the negativity from some in the community and the "claim" consultation had been lacking.

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