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Lack of opposition to windfarm 'staggering'

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peter.winter@thechronicle.uk.com

A COUNCILLOR has expressed disbelief that not a single objection was lodged against a wind farm on a North Antrim hillside containing some of the biggest turbines ever seen in the borough.

The application for the Armoy wind farm was turned down by Causeway Coast and Glens planning committee last week despite the apparent lack of opposition.

Members upheld a recommendation to refuse based on the visual impact of the scheme's 150m turbines and their effect on the setting of an historic round tower and listed church.

Concerns were also raised over public safety, given the turbines' proximity to nearby houses.

The firm behind the scheme, ABO Wind NI Ltd, said the plant represented a £33m investment providing green energy capable of powering 27,000 homes.

They also insisted a wide ranging public consultation exercise was conducted including distribution of leaflets, press notices and a drop-in event in Armoy attended by 30-40 locals.

In fact the application attracted 97 letters of support and, according to the planners report, any issues raised face-to-face with the applicant were apparently addressed without the need to amend the plan.

When the committee met on Wednesday, it was the lack of opposition that shocked Councillor Padraig McShane.

“The thing I find staggering is that people living within 500 yards of this facility are not objecting,” he said.

*For more on this see this week's Coleraine Chronicle.

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