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Windfarm firm presses planners for new site  

Renewable energy company Airtricity has said it has waited three years for a planning decision on a proposed wind farm in Tyrone.

The revelation comes after the Government was urged to take immediate action by social partnership Concordia to tackle lengthy planning delays for wind farms in Northern Ireland.

Airtricity operates wind farms in the province, but it is being frustrated by planners as it attempts to expand its network.

Kevin Hegarty, the company’s development manager, said: “We have been waiting three years (for a ruling) on our planning application for a wind farm at Slieve Beagh in south Tyrone.

“In total we have six planning applications pending which have the potential to produce 200 megawatts of electricity, enough for 125,000 homes.”

Mr Hegarty said more resources needed to be given to the Environment and Heritage Service to speed up the applications process. EHS is the statutory consultee for renewable energy planning applications.

Concordia claimed wind farm developers are facing a delay of nearly two years on average in obtaining planning permission in the province.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK without specific planning guidance on renewable energy developments. Concordia insisted the Government should prioritise its efforts to introduce such guidance here.

By Nigel Tilson

belfasttelegraph.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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