Plans to erect two wind farms at a scenic beauty spot on the outskirts of Larne have been criticised by some local residents and councillors.
Developer Apamore Services has proposed creating five turbines, with a maximum blade tip height of 125m, at Killyglen (between Starbog Road and Mullaghsandall Road).
Meanwhile, plans are also in motion for a further seven turbines to be erected at Ballykeel (just south east of the Killyglen site) by Larne-based company Wind NI. These turbines would measure almost 100m from base to tip.
One local resident contacted the Times to express her concerns about the two developments.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, told the Times: “I really do not think the people of Larne are aware of the scale of these turbines and the visual impact they will have across our whole town.
“It is just not the local residents who are going to be looking at them – the whole town will be.
“The Killyglen wind farm is right beside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and adjacent to the Ulster Way.
“Anyone who has been here will know that there are many various forms of bird and wildlife in this particular part of the countryside and it is enjoyed by hikers and paragliders off Agnew’s Hill.”
While the Killyglen application is currently being considered by planners, the developer behind the Ballykeel project has not yet applied for planning permission.
Larne Councillor Gregg McKeen feels the Killyglen project has so far “largely flown under the radar” and feels there should be a public consultation event to allow local people to air their views on the application.
The DUP representative added: “Many local people are still unaware of the visual impact this development would have.
“When it comes before council, I will be seeking a deferral and I would urge people to take a look at this scheme and make their views known to the Planning Service.”
Cllr McKeen said the two proposed wind farms would result in a picturesque part of the countryside being transformed into a “forest of turbines” .
He added: “It is hard to visualise just how big these turbines would be, but I feel they would be a major blot on the landscape.”
However, Alliance Party representative Danny Donnelly has lent his support to the Ballykeel project.
He said: “I don’t believe that these elegant turbines will detract from the local scenery and certainly not as much as a huge fossil fuelled power station would.
““With man-made climate change posing the biggest threat to the planet, this local business is growing and creating jobs by providing part of the solution to global warming. What they are doing is good for the environment, splendid for the economy and will support local communities.”
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