An application to build a new wind farm next to the existing one at Altahullion, outside Dungiven has provoked mixed reaction from local residents and councillors.
The application seeks permission for an additional 17 wind turbines at Farkland on the south western slopes of Altahullion Hill, 8km from Claudy and south east of Dungiven.
Permission is being sought to build turbines with a maximum overall height of 125 metres and a maximum power output of 3MW each, as well as ancillary works.
Limavady Sinn Féin environment spokesperson, Colr. Cathal Ó hOisín spoke of “genuine concerns” from local people and visitors.This will turn out to be the largest wind farm in Ireland and will have a significant impact on the local environment and fauna,” he said.
“Those of us who live and work and enjoy the Sperrins and their foothills have been increasingly concerned with the preponderance of wind farms in some of the most stunning locations whilst much of our culture and history in these hills and mountains goes largely unrecognised.”
One local resident who lives less than a mile from the existing wind farm said while he favours renewable energy he fears if the application gets the green light more turbines will follow and “that won’t be the end of it. I don’t want the mountain blanketed with them,” he said.
Colr. Boyd Douglas, who is also chair of the Burnfoot Community Association, is supportive of renewable energy initiatives but feels it has reached the stage where there may be too many wind turbines. He also feels that with regards to tourism they may have a negative impact. “I’m concerned they would blot the landscape,” he said.
11 March 2008
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