Jason Welsh acted for TrustPower Limited on its successful application for resource consents from the West Coast Regional Council and Grey District Council to construct a new 46MW hydroelectric power scheme as an enhancement to the existing Arnold River hydroelectric scheme.
The new scheme is to be located in the Arnold River Valley, near the existing Arnold Dam. Water will be diverted into a new canal and pond system, before being discharged back to the Arnold River. Principal elements of the project include a canal, a white-water kayak course, a storage pond, power station and outfall. The project will also incorporate a river diversion, concrete batching plant activities and haul roads. The decision of the Joint Hearing Committee granted all resource consents sought by TrustPower.
Five appeals to the decision were lodged, and four were either withdrawn or settled by negotiation. The one remaining appeal related only to consent conditions and did not challenge the grant of consent. The appeal was heard by the Environment Court in March 2010, and an interim decision was released in June indicating that the minimum flow regime proposed by TrustPower would be confirmed by the Court. Following a reconvened hearing, the Environment Court imposed conditions acceptable to TrustPower including a simplified adaptive management regime and the residual flow defended by TrustPower.