A campaign has been launched to prevent a commercial wind farm being erected at one of North Antrim’s most famous beauty spots.
A planning application for up to nine turbines to be sited at Altaveedan Wind Farm along the Orra mountain is currently under consideration by the authorities but residents of Loughgiel and the wider community say if the plan is approved it will cause untold harm to the environment as well as spoiling what is an area of Special Scientific Interest.
A petition is currently in circulation around the Loughgiel area and in a foreword, the Orra Action Group claim that residents are “extremely concerned” about the proposal for another commercial wind farm for the area and are worried as to where it will stop.
‘No More Windmills’ is the campaign slogan and opponents say the proposed development will blight the area and be of no real benefit to the residents who have to look and live with them.
The petition is to be presented to the Environment Minister, Mr. Edwin Poots, together with letters of objection in an effort to persuade planners not to proceed.
One of the campaigners, Mr. Eamonn McBride, (pictured) who lives on the Altnahinch Road and whose home commands a magnificent panoramic view of the mountain, has asked ‘What price green energy?’
He told the Times: “We here in Ireland are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We, living in Glenbush, have wonderful scenery and a view of the majestical Orra Mountain is especially fortunate.
“The Wind Farm on Orra would turn it into something from outer space. In Glenbush, the gateway to the Glens of Antrim, not only do we have beautiful scenery, but we are steeped in history.
“In 1583 the Great Battle of Orra was fought here. In 1942 young American air men gave their lives for world freedom on this mountain. It is also an era of Special Scientific Interest.”
Mr. McBride is appealing for anyone, even those outside the immediate area, to lobby their local newspapers, councillor and members of the Stormont Assembly.
“We need to get as much public opposition to this as possible,” Mr. McBride said.
With an awareness of the historical significance of the mountain, Mr. McBride strongly suggests that by erecting Wind Turbines, the whole image of the mountain would change dramatically.
“We would be faced with destruction of the wild life, be forced to endure large machinery going up the mountain which would further damage the natural environment as well as disruption to roads and pathways,” he claimed.
Mr. McBride is not only seeking the support of his local politicians, but has written to Mr. Struan Stevenson, the Conservative MEP and member of the Scottish Assembly.
Mr. Stevenson is an opponent of Wind Farms and claims that of the 2500 wind turbines erected across the UK they contribute barely one per cent of the all the electricity needed. He claimed that their combined output of around 900 megawatts was less than that of a single, medium-sized conventional power station.
There are already a number of wind turbines in the Loughgiel area, but not on the side of Orra fronting Mr. McBride’s and many other homes.
He said that one of those turbines hasn’t turned for two years!
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