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Company plans £70m wind turbine project

The company planning to build a controversial wind farm outside Castlerock say the project could benefit the Northern Ireland economy by £20m.

Belfast-based ARC NI 1 Ltd, part of the Windyfields Limited Group has submitted a planning application for 21 wind turbines each of 3.3 MW rated capacity between the Bishops Road and Ballyhackett Lane between Limavady and Coleraine.

The company say that The the total cost of construction of the project is expected to be in the region of £70 million, “of which the immediate local and wider Northern Ireland economy could receive approximately £20 million.”

The area lies inside the Binevenagh AONB and close to several areas of Special Scientific Interest.

A company statement said: ““It is our view that an investment of this scale would provide a much needed boost for the local construction sector as well as the Limavady, Coleraine and greater North Coast area which has been badly hit by the economic downturn. An economic assessment carried out by Oxford Economics has estimated that the construction phase alone could deliver £11.8 million in wages and approximately 540 job years of direct, indirect and induced employment.

“The operation of the development could create or sustain jobs and the project would also generate significant land and property rates for the local Council and Government and reduce the cost of unemployment in the area.

“A full and comprehensive Environmental Statement will be submitted in the coming weeks to support this planning application. This document clearly outlines our approach regarding issues such as distance from homes, noise, transportation, visual impact and many others. This application will be subject to rigorous scrutiny by DoE Planning and all statutory consultees. Our application and accompanying Environmental Statement will be available for anyone to review online at any time through the DoE Planning Portal. The Environmental Statement will also be available at Coleraine and Limavady Libraries for a 4 week period; this will be advertised in the local press by DoE Planning. “

ARC NI 1 Ltd plan to hold a number of public information events in September.