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Fears that Tyrone will become a ‘wind farm landscape’  

Credit:  Tyrone Times | www.tyronetimes.co.uk 30 June 2012 story updated 5 july 2012 ~~

Fears have been raised over the proliferation of windfarms in the Tyrone countryside, as well as concerns that the expansion in windpower will accelerate with a record number of applications currently in the pipeline.

Hundreds more turbines could be built across local sky-lines should the new proposals be passed by the Omagh planning office.

Tyrone currently has one of the highest levels of wind farm development in the North, as well as the largest amount of planning applications for wind turbines lodged with planners.

The volume of applications has overwhelmed the local planning office, which is still processing cases dating back more than two years, according to figures released last week at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Western Planning Division, which includes, Dungannon, as well as Cookstown, Fermanagh, Magherafelt and Omagh districts has 11 wind farm applications in the pipeline, and 185 proposals for single wind turbines dating back to April 2010.

The plans include applications for wind farms in the Clogher Valley and Ballygawley areas.

Should all the planning applications be approved it will mean much higher visibility of the turbines across familiar landscapes.

The Northern Planning Division has the next highest total at 151 individual planning applications.

Dungannon UUP Councillor called for other parts of Northern Ireland to share the burden of windpower.

He warned there was a danger the over-proliferation of wind farms would damage the Tyrone countryside.

“It is clear that the majority of windfarms are being built in the West, particularly in the Sperrins”, he said.

“I would like to question why so few windfarms are being built in the Glens of Antrim and the Mourne mountains, and why they seem to be concentrated in the west. “This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and should be protected.

“I also understand that in the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, communities who live near windfarms receive a subsidy to reduce their electric bills. However, this does not appear to be the case for Northern Ireland.

“There should also be more emphasis placed on hydro-power and on electricity being generated locally to serve communities. After all, we have the Blackwater river which could generate electricity for local use, as well as unused reservoirs at Altmore.”

Source:  Tyrone Times | www.tyronetimes.co.uk 30 June 2012 story updated 5 july 2012

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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