Proposals for a new ‘£14 million’ wind farm near Greencastle are being strongly opposed by local residents.
A group of about 20 disgruntled residents from Mulnafye, Greencastle and Barony Road say they “cherish their homes” and “just want to be left alone”.
The were speaking after attending a public information event for ‘The Barony Road Wind Energy Project’ held in the Silverbirch Hotel last Thursday evening.
A major issue of concern from the outset is the “lack of consultation” with residents living in close proximity to the proposed application.
The company, Barony Wind Ltd, a subsidiary of Dublin-based Island Renewable Energy, is in the process of submitting a formal planning application for the wind energy project 14km east of Omagh.
The proposed Barony Road development will include four 2.3MW wind turbines with transformers – each with a turbine height of 80m and a rotator diameter of 93m and an overall tip height of 126.5m.
The wind farm will take 12 months to construct, with a schedule to commence commercial operations in the summer of 2019. This will last for a period of 25 years.
The company states that the £14m project will be “a boost to the local construction sector, supply chain and local businesses.”
As part of the public consultation process, the company said it is seeking to engage with local residents, the wider community and other interested parties to provide information about the project in advance of submitting a formal planning application to the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Planning Division this summer.
However, local residents state that they received no formal notice about these plans, despite surveys and other works taking place on this site for the past three years.
A spokesperson for the residents group said, “There has been a complete lack of consultation with residents living in close proximity to the proposed application up until now. The wrong postal address was submitted with the application for the test mast, causing a lot of confusion and distress.
“The close proximity of the proposed wind farm to existing dwellings causes concern for the health and well-being of our families. The physical presence of such large turbines with an overall height to tip of 126.5m or 415 feet is almost the height of 29 double decker buses stacked on top of each other.
“Our area is at saturation point with existing turbines and additional applications already passed. We don’t need any more.”
Barony Wind Energy Ltd stated it is currently undertaking a “comprehensive’ Environment Impact Assessment” in the form of an Environmental Statement that will accompany the planning application to help inform the decision making process in council.
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