A resident living close to a planned wind farm near Aghyaran has spoken of his relief that the development will not now be going ahead.
The application for a five turbine development at Meenablagh was rejected at a hearing of the Planning Appeals Commission on Thursday, August 28.
Bernard Moss said the rejection of the appeal marked the end of a five year campaign against the erection of the turbines. He said the wind farm would have had a major impact on the lives of many locally if it had gone ahead.
“I’m pleased that this is the end of the road for this wind farm. It would have meant an eyesore close to my home and the homes of others and a negative impact in terms of noise and the visual effect,” Mr Moss said.
“To be honest, I’m just happy that all this is now sorted out and we can get on with our lives. The possibility of seeing so many turbines in such a scenic area wasn’t going to be very nice and the fact that the application has been finally rejected is good.”
In a 12-page judgement, the Planning Appeals Commissioner, George Scott, said the main issues surrounding the case included the impact of the proposal on habitat, the effect of noise on residential properties, the visual impact of the wind farm and the significance of the economic and social benefits offered by the wind farm.
He acknowledged that the development would generate £1.3million in rate payments with the potential for this figure to rise to £5.3 million over the lifetime of the project. However, he went on to state that it would not necessarily follow that contracts associated with the construction of the wind farm would be awarded locally.
Mr Scott said that in the absence of a clearly demonstrated mitigation or compensatory measures, the development would have an ‘unacceptable’ adverse impact on biodiversity and nature conservation.
He said it had not been demonstrated that there would not be unacceptable adverse effect on property on the Meenablagh Road by reason of ‘cumulative noise.’
“Having taken account of all the evidence in this instance, the disadvantages of the proposal outweigh the undoubted benefits,” the Commissioner concluded.
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