A petition organised by a group of Dromara residents objecting to a 48 metre tall wind turbine planned for the Ardtanagh Road area is to be sent to planners.
Stretching more than 32 metres with a 16 metre blade the turbine is expected to generate 250 mega watt of energy for a local farm but local people claim that the turbine not only risks damaging the local landscape but residents have complained of the high noise level that it will generate.
If it gets the go ahead it will be the second turbine in the vicinity, one was erected two months ago at Dree Hill four miles away.
While the company, Strategic Planning based in Holywood, say the power is a cheaper form of renewable energy, campaigners against the turbine fear that if it gets the go ahead others will soon appear around the countryside.
One campaigner, Paul Warwick, will be just 400 metres from the turbine. He moved into the area 12 years ago because of his love for the countryside, and said that the turbine will have a huge impact on the area.
“People don’t actually understand the scale of these things,” said Paul. “If an average house is around 10 metres and one of these things is over 48 metres you can just imagine the size of one of these things. Putting these turbines all over the country is I think is ludicrous, to be honest.
“It will have such a visual impact on the area but there is the noise of them too.
“I have a friend who lives about five miles away close to the other turbine who says that the noise is deafening.
“They say that is like a cement mixer going off all the time. So what happens if all the small farms in the area decide to have these all over the area? The area is going to be completely covered with wind turbines. “
Strategic Planning, the planning company acting on behalf of the applicant issued a statement, “Support for renewable energy projects, such as the proposed single wind turbine in Dromara, is vital if Northern Ireland is going to reach its target of achieving 40% renewable electricity generation by 2020.
“Meeting this target will help reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels, insulate our energy bills from the rising costs of fuel and meet the electricity needs of our homes in the future.
“In an ever challenging agricultural economy where a recent Department of Agriculture and Rural Development report has found that farm incomes have fallen by some 50% in the last year, farm diversification through renewable energy projects also provide an additional source of income for farmers and play an integral part in the wider rural economy.
“The siting of any of our clients single wind turbine is constrained by many different environmental and technical regulations and to comply, it must meet very clear and stringent guidelines.
“These guidelines have been followed completely in this case.”
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