August 19, 2010
Northern Ireland

No opinion from Moyle Council on major wind farm

Ballymoney & Moyle Times, 18 August 2010

Moyle Council has decided not to voice an opinion – so far at least – on plans for a massive wind farm of over 100 turbines, each several hundred feet high, off the coast of Kintyre which will be visible from north Antrim.
Some councillors expressed concern but in the end the Council decided not to support or oppose the plan and merely noted the matter.
The proposed Kintyre offshore Wind Farm will be three kilometres to the west of Machrihanish and have 105 turbines which could generate electricity for around 400,000 homes. There has been a mixed response in Kintyre with some people concerned about the impact on tourism but others said there could be benefits.
SSE Renewables Development (UK) contacted Moyle Council and said if they wish to respond to the consultation they should do by August 16.
Projections show the wind farms could be visible from the north Antrim coast from Cushendall round to Ballycastle and on to Ballintoy.
Council official Esther Mulholland said the wind farm will be visible from north Antrim “on a clearish day”.
Sinn Fein councillor Cathal Newcombe described the plans as a “very serious situation”.
He wondered why turbines had to be constructed above the water whenever there is power generation technology for under the waves.
He said: “I think we should oppose this project”.
He said he has spoken to some Scottish Ministers who he said are against it.
But Cushendun-based Independent councillor Randal McDonnell said: “Could we not welcome this work and initiative. This wind farm is very near to the existing wind farm which you can see near Machrihanish. This is slightly bigger – what is the big deal?”
DUP councillor Robert McIlroy said the plans need to be assessed and he said they need time to think about it before they would say yes or no.
He said everybody had said no to fish farms when they first came out and now they are all in place and you “never here it mentioned now”.
Independent councillor Seamus Blaney said there are wind farms “all over the place” including at Orra in the Glens and he didn’t think the new wind farm “will make any difference”.
Councillors agreed to note the plans.

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