Anyone who has gone on that beautiful drive along the ocean road from Melbourne to Portland will understand how wind farms are creating the new great Australian ugliness. Those praying mantus type wind mills despoil hill after hill and I well understand why local residents keep searching for an endangered parrot whenever a wind farm is mooted for their neighbourhood. But perhaps relief is at hand on aesthetic rather than environmental grounds.
Last week New Zealand’s Environment Court banned the proposed construction of a $NZ2 billion wind farm in Central Otago on the grounds that with 176 giant turbines it was too large for the special landscape values of the Lammermoor Range. Environment Court Judge Jon Jackson said while the Project Hayes wind farm would have some economic benefits the environmental cost was too high.
“The landscape should be protected and we find that is not achieved by the Meridian proposal,” he said