Windyfields ‘increasingly desperate’: SOS

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A campaign group against a proposed wind farm on top of Binevenagh mountain has accused the company behind the scheme of making ‘worthless promises’ in an ‘increasingly desperate’ attempt to secure planning permission.

A spokesman for the Binevengh SOS campaign, which is fighting the controversial development in the heart of Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, said: “Windyfields will do and say anything to get their application through the Planning Appeals Commission.

“Windyfields have recently claimed they are reducing turbine numbers from 21 to 16 and that the turbines will be ‘not overly visible’ from Benone beach. Local people have seen what a ‘not overly visible’ industrial wind farm looks like on the Coleraine Road.

“The truth is the wind farm will be visible from miles around. Any wind turbine on Binevenagh mountain will utterly destroy the character of this amazing location.

“Windyfields are also now promising a visitor centre and tourist amenities on top of the mountain. Where are the feasibility studies and consultation? It’s back-of-a-fag-packet development. The logic is completely contradictory.

“The wind farm will ruin the area as an iconic tourist destination. Windyfields’ increasingly desperate promises aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.”

The turbines will be 125 metres tall, a third the height of Binevenagh, which is 385 metres high, and will be highly visible from as far afield as Donegal, Glenshane, and along the Causeway Coast. The National Trust and Northern Ireland Tourist Board have both criticized the proposal.

The scheme will also close the Ulster Gliding Centre, which has been in existence in the area since 1930 and is the only such facility in Northern Ireland.

Jay Nethercott, chairman of the centre, said: ‘This proposal threatens the entire future of the club and a significant part of Ulster’s aviation heritage.’

The campaign launched a Facebook app this week for people to tell the Planning Appeals Commission why they love Binevenagh AONB.

The Binevenagh SOS campaign is holding a fundraiser BBQ at the Ulster Gliding Centre in Bellarena on Saturday September 27th at 6.30pm. Further details can be found at www.binevenaghsos.com.