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Consent process paused

A resource consent application for a solar farm in Greytown has been placed on hold by South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] while the processing officer awaits further information.

Far North Solar Farms has proposed establishing a 235-hectare solar farm along State Highway 2 [SH2], and Bidwills Cutting and Moroa roads.

The processing pause and request for more information comes after the council received 46 submissions on the proposal.

A council spokesperson confirmed the request for information is partly due to issues brought up by submitters who “raised a number of issues about the proposal which are of particular interest to us”.

The information requested will help SWDC better understand the proposed activity, its effect on the environment, and the ways any adverse effects on the environment might be mitigated, the spokesperson said.

It’s not the first time Far North Solar Farm has run into this roadblock.

The application was rejected when it was first lodged last year, with the council citing insufficient information as the reason.

When it was re-lodged on December 23 last year it succeeded in meeting the council’s requirements for considering the application.

As reported by the Times-Age in May, among those opposing the application was the Greytown Community Board.

A lack of community consultation or outline of local benefits was cited as the main reason behind the board’s submission.

Board deputy chair Warren Woodgyer also put in his own submission.

“I wanted to include a section saying if it does go ahead, that there should be restrictions on further development, to avoid 2000 acres of solar farm around Greytown, and every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants a solar farm from going ahead,” he said.

Woodgyer said there needs to be thought put into how a project of this scale would impact the land’s future.

Once the required information is received, the council will continue with the next steps of the application process.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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