Wind Farms are Noise Pollution

Stuff.co.nz

Quite apart from junking up the landscape and polluting visually, wind farms also have been found to create excessive noise pollution:

Residents complaining the nearby Te Rere Hau Wind Farm is too noisy have been vindicated, with the Environment Court ruling the farm owner breached its resource consent.

Noise predictions supplied by NZ Windfarms were wrong.

In a potentially precedent-setting decision released yesterday, the court ruled the noise effects on residents were “considerably greater” than those predicted in the resource consent application.

This put the 97-turbine wind farm on the Tararua Range in breach of its resource consent to such an extent that Palmerston North City Council could now choose to review its noise consent conditions.

Bob Stewart lives on Pahiatua Track near the wind farm and said he was pleased the court had recognised residents’ concerns.

“What we were hit with in terms of noise was quite different to what the application said it would be,” Mr Stewart said.

“It’s vindicated the residents’ concerns. It’s some comfort to know we’re not just a bunch of complainers with no grounds [to complain on].”

Mr Stewart said the ruling had made it clear assessments of the effects on the environment produced by those wanting consent for wind farms “needed to be accurate”.

“Hopefully it will be a wake-up call to other applicants that have to get it correct.”

The city council gave NZ Windfarms resource consent for Te Rere Hau in 2005. An extension was later granted.

Since its construction the wind farm has been the source of hundreds of noise complaints by neighbouring residents. That led the council to ask the Environment Court last year whether Te Rere Hau was operating within its resource consent.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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