Delegat's get 6 more frost fans
A Marlborough winery has been given the go-ahead to build six new frost fans at one of its vineyards despite opposition from a neighbouring family.
Last month a hearing into the proposed wind machines was adjourned to see if the two parties could negotiate a deal.
However, the family declined talks with Delegat's Wine Estate Ltd for fear of compromising their case that no consent had been granted.
Marlborough District Council hearing commissioner Murray Hunt, who approved the resource consent just before Christmas, said he hoped a compromise could still be achieved.
Mr Hunt visited the family home, the historic Oak Tree Cottage, in the lower Awatere Valley on December 2 before making his decision.
He noted some frost fans already in the area, along with other structures including power poles and buildings.
Mr Hunt accepted the entrance lane to the cottage would be exposed to the view of new fans but said any adverse effects would be no more than minor.
Delegat's Wine Estate Ltd had applied to erect and operate six new frost fans, each 10.5 metres high, in their vineyard at Lintons Rd.
However, neighbours and owners of Oak Tree Cottage, Russell and Nicola Kerslake, said the structures would damage the visual impact of their property, which doubled as their home and business.
Delegat's was willing to discuss replacing about 200 metres of trees that acted as a screen between the historic cob cottage and the vineyard.
The hearing at Marlborough's council chambers in November was told that Oak Tree Cottage was zoned as rural township under the Wairau/Awatere Resource Management Plan.
This meant wind machines could not be closer than 500 metres to the rural township zone boundary without a resource consent.
Delegat's wanted to erect a frost fan just 95 metres from the boundary, or 268 metres from the Kerslake property.
Mr Hunt said at that hearing that the 500m buffer zone was not a definitive "line in the sand" but a trigger to look at other factors such as noise and visual impacts.
The Kerslakes stressed their objection was not related to noise but to the visual damage caused by the fans.
But in his decision, Mr Hunt said that frost fans had become part of the expected vista when looking out over a vineyard.
The Marlborough Express