A Sion Mills resident has had his application for a wind turbine shot down because the area has reached “saturation point”.
A council planning officer made the ruling during a recent meeting of the Planning Committee.
The applicant, Cyril Muldoon of Folliard Road, had petitioned to put a 31 metre turbine with 27 metre rotor blades on land to the north of his property.
The application has been refused though because of the proliferation of similar turbines already in place in the Sion Mills area.
Outlining the decision, councillors were told that there were already five turbines in the vicinity of the application site with approval granted for five more.
Three further applications for turbines are also in the planning pipeline, all within a short distance of where Mr Muldoon wants to build his.
The council’s planning team said it had to be satisfied that the erection of turbines did not adversely impact on public safety, landscape character, nature conservation, air or water quality and public access to the countryside.
Public safety is not an issue, they said, however noise could be a problem for nearby homes.
“There are a number of residential properties within proximity of the application site which have the potential to be affected by noise from the proposed turbine – namely 17, 19 and 20 Folliard Road, 50 and 52 Grahamstown Road and 133 and 137 Peacock Road.
“Environmental Health advise there is insufficient information to establish whether the proposed turbine is acceptable in this respect,” councillors were told.
The visual aspect of the turbine could also be detrimental to the surrounding area, the planners ruled.
“In terms of wind turbine development in the surrounding area, there are currently five existing turbines built within 3.3 kilometres of the application site with planning approval for a further five turbines. And the council also have three other planning applications which are yet to be decided,” the meeting heard.
If built Mr Muldoon’s turbine would be visible from the main Fyfin Road between Victoria Bridge and Castlederg and from Castlederg to the south west.
The council’s planning officers added, “The turbine will be visible from Crew Road, south of the main Tievenny Road between Ardstraw and Castlederg, where it will be viewed with three constructed turbine, two approved turbines and potentially three other pending applications.
“The turbine will be visible from Peacock Road, north of the site where it will read with one constructed turbine, one approved turbine and potentially two other pending applications.”
The lead planning officer ruled that there already enough turbines in the area. He recommended that Mr Muldoon’s application be rejected.
“In my professional opinion, this area has reached saturation point in terms of turbine development and any further approvals would have a significantly detrimental impact cumulatively upon the visual amenity and character of the landscape,” he ruled.
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