Project Hayes legal talks in November

Details of the next round of legal proceedings on the Project Hayes wind farm will be decided at a conference in Dunedin in mid-November.

The Environment Court has been ordered to reconsider its decision to cancel resource consents for Meridian Energy's $2 billion, 176-turbine wind farm on the Lammermoor Range.

Environment Court judge Jon Jackson will hold a judicial conference in Dunedin on November 15 to talk to all the parties involved and discuss possible dates and details for the next stage of proceedings, Environment Court Project Hayes case manager Chris Jordan said yesterday.

Meridian's appeal to the High Court against the Environment Court's decision was upheld.

Justices Lester Chisholm and John Fogarty said in a 63-page decision released last month the Environment Court had "erred in law" when it called for an explicit and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of alternative sites for the wind farm.

They directed the same division of the Environment Court to reconsider the matter and call extra evidence on alternative wind farm sites in Central Otago.

The High Court decision was the latest round in four years of wrangling which has included appeal hearings in two different courts. The Central Otago District Council and Otago Regional Council granted resource consents for the wind farm in 2007.

That decision was appealed and the Environment Court found the adverse effects of the wind farm on the landscape outweighed the potential economic benefits of the project and cancelled the consents.



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