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Campaign group calls for windfarm moratorium

Over 300 people gathered in Omagh on Saturday to seek an immediate freeze on applications for new windfarm projects.

Campaign group West Tyrone Against Wind Turbines called for a moratorium on all wind turbines during a ‘Windwatch’ conference in Killyclogher. The organisation believes that all wind applications should be halted until full and rigorous studies into the affects of turbines on human health are carried out.

Among speakers at the conference was environmental film maker Nigel Spence who has just completed a documentary on wind farms and the wind industry.

In his film ‘Fair Wind or Foul’, Mr Spence explores the damage caused to the environment, to humans and to wildlife by the rapidly growing wind business. He also attempts to dispel some of the myths that have grown up around windfarms as a healthy source of green energy.

RESPONSE

The Windwatch conference was organised in response to the number of windfarms currently dotting the Tyrone landscape and those still in the planning pipeline.

Organisers say that between those in operation and those at either the planning granted or proposed stages, there are 111 wind turbines in the Killeter area alone.

The biggest operational farm is at Crighshane where 14 turbines have been installed. Planning permission has however been granted for an even bigger development at Tievenameenta. A total of 56 turbines meanwhile have been proposed for mountains and townlands surrounding the Killeter area.

Residents say the windfarm issue has divided rural communities where some farmers were “conned” into allowing the installation of turbines on their land. Those now living in their shadow say their health has been directly impacted through sleep deprivation, constant droning noises and a condition known as ‘shadow flicker’.

Shadow flicker occurs when the sun’s natural light is regularly interrupted by turbine blades. According to some studies it can lead to cognitive problems like memory loss.

As well as human impact, residents say their homes have become un-sellable because of the “metal monsters” now on their doorsteps.

Read the full story in this week’s Tyrone Herald