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Green light for £37m Co Tyrone wind farm a decade after plans first drawn

A proposal for a major £37m wind farm has been given the go-ahead after an appeal decision almost a decade after plans were first drawn up, it can be revealed.

The wind farm will see 10 turbines, each 125 metres tall, being built at Curraghamulkin in Co Tyrone.

Last year, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council planning committee turned down the plans amid concerns over noise and the impact on the surrounding area.

But now, the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) has given the wind farm the go-ahead. According to PAC documents, almost £37m will be spent on the scheme, with up to 350 construction jobs being created during its build.

Doreen Walker of Dooish Wind Farm Ltd told the Belfast Telegraph: “We are delighted to have the planning… now we will see where the future lies.”

She said a lack of government at Stormont would make the process more difficult.

“We have only just received planning and now have to digest it. We have to apply for grid, and these things take years to come to fruition.”

The documents filed with the PAC said the scheme would bring “overall capital spend of approximately £36.75m, of which 35% – 40% is estimated to be realised within Northern Ireland”.

“The construction phase is likely to create or sustain approximately 350 total jobs (and) years of direct, indirect and induced employment across the region. Activity of this scale is estimated to produce wages of £6.7m and GVA (gross value added) of £11.8m.

“The estimated total (direct, indirect and induced) benefits from the on-going operation of the site include the creation or sustainment of 36 jobs and £1m of wages per annum. It will also add £2.5m to Northern Ireland’s GVA per annum. The Treasury is likely to benefit from increased tax revenue and benefits savings to the tune of £3.7m to £4.7m over the period of construction and £0.5m – £0.6m per annum when the development becomes fully operational,” the documents continue.

Earlier this year, another Co Tyrone wind farm was sold as part of a £105m deal. Greencoat UK Wind agreed to acquire two wind farms from institutional investors in Liverpool and Northern Ireland for £105m. The acquisitions of the North Hoyle and Slieve Divena wind farms were due to complete in August, funded by the renewable infrastructure fund’s revolving credit facility. The deal adds a total capacity of 90MW and takes Greencoat UK’s net generating capacity to 547MW. Slieve Divena has a capacity of 30MW and was originally developed by SSE.