Federated Farmers continues to oppose attempts by state owned enterprise Transpower to use district plans as a way to grab more rights over land hosting electricity poles and pylons, without paying compensation to landowners.
"Transpower is seeking to force Whangarei District Council to enact Plan Change 123A, creating a new Electricity Transmission Corridor. This includes 'no build zones' and 'assessment areas' either side of 50kV, 66kV, 110kV or 220kV transmission lines," Federated Farmers electricity spokesman Willy Leferink says.
"The inclusion of transmission corridors in the Whangarei District Plan is very similar to proposals we have already seen in a number of council district plans, including in the Western Bay of Plenty and Waikato districts. It is very clear Transpower is intent on rolling out these zones around the country.
"It might deny grabbing land, but these rules, if enacted in Whangarei District, restrict the use of land not just underneath or adjacent to power lines, but also up to 20 metres either side of them. In other districts the distances are even wider.
"The Federation says this is another example of Transpower having its cake and eating it too. It is using its status as a publically owned utility to advance its own interests instead of playing fair with landowners.
"Federated Farmers and landowners are concerned Transpower is shifting its burden to councils and their ratepayers. We believe this is a cynical use of a loophole in the Resource Management Act which states loss of property rights due to council plan processes are not eligible for compensation.
"Transpower is forcing councils to cover compliance and monitoring costs, which will be borne not only by the property owners, but all rate payers in the district's towns and cities.
"The Federation is concerned at the cost and limits on landowners arising from this proposal. We encourage those affected to defend their rights and oppose these new rules.
"In our submissions to Whangarei District Council and other similarly affected districts, Federated Farmers has highlighted the existence of the Code of Practice for Electrical Safety Distances which already addresses Transpower's safety concerns around buildings near lines, making these new regulations superfluous," Mr Leferink concluded.
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