May 23, 2012
Northern Ireland

Storm over wind farm

Ballymoney and Moyle Times, 23 May 2012

A man living in the Loughgiel area has expressed outrage that planners are minded to give the go-ahead for a wind farm which he says will spoil the scenic views from his rural home.

Eamonn McBride heads the Orra Action Group which is opposed to a wind farm being built in the Altaveedan district.

He is angry that planners brought an ‘approval’ opinion to a meeting of Ballymoney Council last night (Monday May 21) despite at least 95 letters of objection and a 227-strong petition of objection.

Ballymoney Council is only consulted by planners and although their views are considered they do not have any power to overturn planning decisions.

RES UK and Ireland want up to nine turbines, each with a maximum height of 101.2 metres high, at Altaveedan.

Mr McBride is enraged by the controversial plans for the construction of the wind farm and he has support from councillors including Anita Cavlan.

He is “devastated” that the vista from his house, overlooking what he describes as a breathtaking view, will be tarnished by windmills.

And Mr McBride says that other wind turbines in the Loughgiel area have not been at maximised and said it would be better to get all those working rather than construct new windmills.

He claimed damage was caused to a turbine by a lightning strike.

Mr McBride said: “Is it not better to repair what you have, never mind building new ones?”

Opponents of the new wind farm say there are parts of the district which have been declared an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and they say there is also history there as the Battle of Orra was fought several centuries ago.

Mr McBride is livid that despite such a huge level of objection that planners came back with an approval opinion.

Cllr Cavlin believes the additional wind turbines to be blatant “over saturation”.

The Times asked RES for a comment but they said they did not wish to issue a statement until after the Council meeting which was taking place after we had gone to press.

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