Political representatives are questioning the developers behind applications for two wind farms in the Antrim Hills.
One, at Feystown, is inside the designated Glens of Antrim Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is subject to stringent greenbelt planning regulations. The other would be at Killyglen, which is just outside the AONB.
Today, East Antrim Assembly member Stewart Dickson is to lead a delegation of Larne Alliance councillors, local groups and residents to meet the Feystown developer, ABO Wind, which proposes to build nine turbines, each with a maximum blade tip height of 120.5 metres (395 feet) and a hub height of 85m (278ft).
ABO estimates that the projected Feystown wind farm could generate 75 million kwh of electricity per year – “enough to supply 12,500 homes and reduce CO2 emissions by 37,260 tonnes”.
Larne Borough Council has been informed, however, that the application has the potential to impact on a substantial number of people and Mr Dickson said tomorrow’s meeting is an opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns.
“I want to put these directly to the developers and listen to their response,” he added.
Councillors recently received a presentation on the Killyglen proposal, which entails five turbines, each with a 125m (410ft) mast.
Cllr Gerardine Mulvenna (Alliance) expressed concern about the visual impact of the turbines and enquired about associated benefits for the community. She was informed that, depending on the output, the community fund total could be as much as £300,000 a year.
The developer spoke of a need for consultation to identify where the money should be spent.
Asked if the tourist board had lodged any objections to what some would consider a blot on the landscape, the developer replied that brown tourist information signage has been installed near some wind farms because visitors like to view them.
While the developer considered the proposed wind farm to be of “modest” scale and a “good fit” in the landscape, independent councillor Roy Craig argued that five turbines were “five too many”.
Larne council’s formal response to the consultation on the Killyglen proposal states that the turbines are “in no way sensitive to the visual environment in which they will be sited”.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding