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Makara wind farm gets the go ahead

Published: 7:52PM Wednesday December 21, 2005 Source: RNZ

In a unanimous decision by a panel of four commissioners resource consent has been granted to build New Zealand's second largest wind farm.

Meridian Energy's Project West Wind will see 70 turbines built close to Wellington on the south west coast near Makara. They will provide electricity for 110,000 homes.

The commissioners found that the project was environmentally responsible and despite the concerns of local residents, they said Makara was the right place for the project.

Meridian Energy is delighted with the decision.

Company spokesperson Alan Seay says it is a comprehensive decision that reflects the quality of the proposal and the wishes of the wider Wellington community.

Residents opposed to the wind farm are disappointed.

Hugh Barr, from the Quartz Hill Reserve Charitable Trust says the proposal has been bulldozed through, despite the concerns of local residents. He says there do not appear to have been any changes at all to Meridian's plans.

Meridian says work on the wind farm could start as early as next year.