Far North Solar Farms – request granted to refer Resource Consent Application to the Environment Court

The South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) has granted a request by Far North Solar Farms Limited for their resource consent application to be referred to and determined by the Environment Court, rather than SWDC. 

Resource consent application RM220103 was submitted to SWDC by Far North Solar Farm Limited on 21 December 2021. Sections 87C and 87D of the Resource Management Act (The Act) allow the applicant to request that a notified resource consent application be processed by the Environment Court, rather than the consent authority. The consent application was publicly notified by SWDC on 8 May 2023.

The land use consent application is for a 175-megawatt peak solar farm including 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. The proposed site to be established adjoins SH2, Bidwills Cutting Road and Moroa Road near Greytown. Resource consent is required under the District Plan as a Discretionary Activity.  

SWDC has agreed with the reasons for the direct referral as set out by the applicant. SWDC considered criteria such as public interest and likelihood of appeals, complexity of the proposal, impact on parties, cost considerations and streamlined decision making to be relevant in considering whether to agree to or decline the request.

The full SWDC decision can be found here.

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