A local residents’ group opposed to two wind turbine applications have urged the Planning Service to resolve their outstanding concerns.
The Carrick Windwatch group was formed in objection to two separate planning applications for the structures in the town.
The proposals would see the construction of a 30 metre turbine tower close to New Line and a 65 metre structure at Trooperslane, both with rotor diameters of 30 metres.
Members of the group travelled to Stormont on Monday to discuss the New Line application with Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, with a future meeting to be arranged for those living at Trooperslane.
In a statement earlier this month, the group indicated the meeting would provide an opportunity to ‘highlight to the Environment Minister the serious concerns they have with regard to this flawed planning application, such as issues of noise, shadow flicker and turbulence wake’.
“We had a good constructive meeting and took up a number of issues with the minister,” said Liberty Road resident Robert Picken, whose home is near one of the proposed sites.
“We found the minister to be very approachable and were heartened by the fact that earlier this year, he made some valid comments during Assembly question time that planners should not run roughshod over the wishes of residents when it comes to turbine applications.
“Mr Durkan also queried if it would be possible to site the turbine elsewhere, so we felt he was trying his best to resolve the issue for everyone.
Robert added: “Carrick Council’s Environmental Health Department had previously advised us that an expert assessment is needed as regards the noise impact and the shadow flicker.”
“As far as we are concerned, the onus is now firmly on the applicant and the Planning Service to resolve these outstanding concerns.
“Until such times as these issues are resolved, I don’t see how the application can go ahead.”
Meanwhile, a consultation on the proposed development earlier this year saw Belfast City Airport query the possibility of interference with their radar system.
In a letter to the Planning Service, a spokesperson for the airport claimed the application conflicted with safeguarding criteria.
“Our assessment indicates the development is within line of sight of the primary surveillance radar installation at Belfast City Airport,” the letter read.
“This would result in unwanted returns (or ‘clutter’) appearing on the radar screens of air traffic controllers at the airport which would have an unacceptably detrimental impact on air traffic control operations.”
Fellow consultees Belfast International Airport indicated they did not have any safeguarding objections to the proposal.
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