An application to have 7 wind turbines located in the Sperrins has been opposed by Mid Ulster District Council.
The decision came at last night’s meeting of the Planning Committee (5 May) when councillors unanimously agreed that the development of the wind farm at Drumadarragh should be opposed when it is considered by the Planning Appeals Commission.
Previously refused planning permission by the Planning Appeals Commission in July 2011, the Commission’s decision was overruled in the courts, meaning the issue was required to re-considered by the Council which became responsible for planning decisions since 1 April this year.
The Council was not persuaded that the economic benefits which the applicant believed would result from the turbines outweighed the negative visual impact on the area, which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in a landscape which includes the Beaghmore stone circle.
Nor did the Council believe that the wind farm would contribute to meeting targets for renewable energy when there are currently enough farms permitted to exceed the 40% target by 2020.
Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Martin Kearney, Chair of the Planning Committee said:
“Wind farms continue to cause strong reactions from local communities in rural areas and the Council will consider each application as it is submitted. However, we will also be addressing wind farms and the wider issue of renewable energy as part of our work to create a new development plan for Mid Ulster which reflects the needs and priorities of our district”.
At the same meeting, two significant applications were approved, the first for a £1.5M project from Gorse Hill Ltd to create two new industrial units at Station Road Industrial Estate in Magherafelt.
The investment has the potential to double the company’s workforce and the initial scheme was re-designed to take account of noise and nuisance to neighbours.
Home of Dungannon Swifts, Stangmore Park, got the go-ahead for new 3G training and playing pitches, along with associated training facilities for Dungannon United Youth, opening up opportunities for further youth involvement in sport and for the club to benefit from additional revenue.
The Planning Committee met on Tuesday 5 May.