Application for Solar Farm is to be publicly notified

The South Wairarapa District Council has made a decision to publicly notify an application for a solar farm proposed to be established adjoining SH2, Bidwills Cutting Road and Moroa Road near Greytown.

Council’s Planning Manager, James Witham, said the decision was made by staff under delegated authority following a recommendation by a consultant planner who had been appointed to process the application on behalf of Council.

“The application is for a 175-megawatt peak solar made up of 321,160 photovoltaic solar panels mounted on tracking tables, with a maximum height of 4.5m above the ground, and 40 inverter stations across 235 hectares of land,” Mr Witham said.

The proposal requires resource consent under the Wairarapa Combined District Plan (district plan). The details of the proposal have been assessed against the district plan and relevant notification requirements of the Resource Management Act.

“There were two matters that determined the proposal necessitated public notification. The first was the actual or potential landscape effects of the proposal being more than minor over the period the screening planting matures surrounding the development. The second was that Council determined that details of the proposal amounted to ‘special circumstances’ which made notification necessary.”

Matters such as the proposals extent, being the first application of its kind in the district, and whether the effects of the proposal were anticipated by the provisions in the district plan, were also part of that consideration.

The decision can be reviewed by the High Court.

Mr Witham said the application has not yet been notified and a date has not yet been set. The applicants may choose to proceed with the application or withdraw it.

If they wish to continue, notices will placed in the local papers and on Council’s websites, along with further press releases. See the application and Council’s decision.

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