Landowners from Barr Cregg, Ballymaclanigan and Slaughtmanus are divided over plans to create passing bays to facilitate the construction of a new wind farm in the area with recent lorry accidents being cited by both sides.
New site location and block plans have been submitted by the green energy firm, RES UK and Ireland, in support of its proposed seven turbine wind farm in the area.
However, several letters of support and objection from residents and landowners in the surrounding area show local people are divided about the proposals.
Road access and road safety are amongst the concerns raised. The potential for increased noise is also cited as a concern.
One resident has submitted a photograph – said to have been taken in Summer 2014 – purporting to show an overturned lorry on the Craigatoke Road, where some of the 14 passing bays are proposed.
“Heavy Goods Vehicle traffic on these narrow roads will heighten the health and safety risk to farmers as they strive to carry out their livelihood,” the objector wrote.
But several residents have also written letters indicating their support for the wind farm, suggesting it will bring benefits to the local community and arguing that the passing bays will actually improve road safety.
One resident claimed to have been involved in a lorry accident on one of the roads in question and said this wouldn’t have happened had passing bays been in place.
“There recently was a minor incident on the Craigatoke Road, involving two lorries,” he wrote.
“As these lorries were meeting, one slipped into the drain at the side of the road.
“It is ironic that this incident happened at the exact location, where a proposed passing bay is to be sited if permission is granted.
“As the driver of the lorry involved in the incident, it is my professional opinion that if the passing bay had been in place, this accident would not have happened.”
RES wants to create the bays on adopted lands along the Craigatoke Road and Slaughtmanus Road with the express purpose of facilitating the Barr Cregg Wind Farm. The farm’s seven turbines will have an overall maximum height of 125m. The energy company currently operates wind farms in both Curryfree and Altahullion. The proposed farm will be located roughly between them