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Residents urged to join campaign against turbines

Campaigners opposed to two applications for wind turbines in Carrick have urged more residents to formally submit their objections to the plans.

Around 110 people gathered in Carrick Town Hall for a public meeting over the ongoing campaign last Wednesday night, hearing from a number of speakers including Windwatch NI chair Dr Dan Kane, South Down MLA Jim Wells and QUB Professor Alan Evans.

The event is part of a series organised by residents opposed to the applications, planned for sites close to Trooperslane and new Line.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood and senior members of the Southern Area Planning Service and DETINI Sustainable Energy were invited to the meeting, but were unable to attend.

However, organiser and Hillview residents’ representative Barry Patterson indicated that Planning Service had declined the invitation with a view to arranging a private meeting with a number of campaigners in future.

“It was a very good turnout considering awful weather, and the speakers were very informative regarding the health, safety and planning issues surrounding proposed wind turbines,” Mr Patterson said.

“Residents are very concerned; we know local councillors support our objections, but we now need more assistance from them and our local MLAs in dealing with planning issues. We have a Facebook page up and running, and will shortly have a website to keep people updated as to progress, but we need more residents to fill in objection letters over the turbines to put more pressure on Planning Office.

“The Southern Area Planning Office have been in touch and although they could not attend the public meeting, they have agreed to meet with residents in private to discuss concerns.”

A number of elected representatives also leant their voices to the campaign, including Councillors John Stewart, Noel Williams and Deputy Mayor, Terry Clements and Roy Beggs MLA.

“We’d just like to thank the councillors for their support, and Terry Clements in particular for arranging to provide the room to us on the evening free of charge,” said fellow organiser Robert Picken, whose home is close to the planned New Line site.