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Residents say ‘enough’ to wind farms

Residents believe wind turbines are a ‘blot on the landscape’.

A spokesperson for a group of residents from the Cullion area near Donemana say they believe existing renewable energy windmills sited in the area are a “blot on the landscape”.

Amanda Buchanan told the ‘Journal’ “enough is enough” in the Sperrin Mountains area which is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty.

While no formal application has yet been lodged, the ESB has revealed that it plans to erect a further five wind turbines at Carrickatane where there are currently nine turbines sited.

The ESB has held an initial consultation about its proposals event in Donemana.

However, local residents have said they are opposed to any further wind farm developments in the area which is already home to 43 turbines at four locations.

Carrickatane currently has nine while there are 16 in Owenroagh, 12 at Slieve Kirk and six at Curryfree. Planning application were submitted for 10 others, five at Gortmonley Hill and five at Barron Road, although they were later withdrawn.

Ms Buchanan said the latest proposal has prompted local residents to speak out against the developments.

“The community says enough is enough – we want no more turbines in this area and would invite a response from the energy producers to resolve many outstanding issues.

“The tranquillity and natural beauty of this area has been ruined by the ever-increasing number of wind farms being created.”

In a statement the residents said there are a number of issues which have had a “detrimental effect on the daily lives of the community”.

Among the claims made in the statement are “excessive noise from the vibration of the turbine blades”, “blade rotation flicker”, “TV interference”, “disturbance to wildlife” and the “devaluation of property”.

The statement added: “The Sperrin area is designated by Strabane District Council as an area of outstanding natural beauty yet this wind farm industry is exempt.

The ESB press office was contacted yesterday but no one was available for comment on the matter.

At the beginning of September the ESB carried out an initial consultation event for local residents of the Cullion/Donemana area regarding its plans to erect five new wind turbines at Carrickatane.

A leaflet drop took place to make residents aware of the meeting which was held in a local community centre.

No formal planning application has yet been lodged with the Northern Ireland Planning Service regarding the wind turbine proposal.