Both the Roads Service and a key environmental department have expressed their concern over controversial plans to construct a windfarm in the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
A vociferous campaign has been ongoing for some time in objection to the windfarm proposals, drawing support from local businesses and residents.
Last week, the Sentinel reported how the firm behind the controversial plans had submitted an ‘environmental statement’ in support of their planning application to build 21 wind turbines at land close to the picturesque Bishop’s Road, between the townlands of Gortmore and Ballyhackett.
Now, campaign group ‘Binevenagh SOS’ has written to this newspaper to highlight the ‘serious concerns’ expressed by the Northern Ireland Roads Service around proposed transport routes and access points.
The campaigners have also pointed out the opposition expressed by the ‘Landscape Architects’ branch of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The Landscape Architects Branch of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency has condemned the proposed development of 21 wind turbines near Gortmore and Ballyhacket viewing points as “unacceptable in landscape and visual terms”. Its consultation response to Windyfields’ planning application warns of wind farms in Binevenagh ‘overwhelming the landscape’ and states that the development, if permitted, would be “detrimental to the environmental quality of the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and the region’s cultural and natural heritage.”
Their response continues: “The proposed development lies on the plateau summits immediately above the dramatic escarpment associated with Binevenagh, the distinctive feature within the AONB, and from many viewpoints will have a detrimental impact on the skyline and silhouette of the landmass.
“The proposed development will introduce moving industrial structures into an escarpment landscape of the highest visual amenity value and iconic quality.”
Landscape Architects Branch also criticises the visual information provided by Windyfields as being ‘totally unacceptable, both in terms of format of and content’, stating: “It is evident that rather than representing the development as accurately as possible the images have been created with the objective of disguising the visual impact of the proposal.”
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