Macosquin solar farm given go ahead

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Coleraine is in line for a new solar farm.

Plans for a solar farm on 110 acres of land on the edge of Somerset Forest in Coleraine were given the green light at a meeting of Council’s Planning Committee last Wednesdsay.

Councillors at the meeting were informed that the application, by Elgin Energy, would see the construction and operation of the solar farm, which would have the capacity to generate 25MW of electricity.

Planning officer Shane Mathers explained that the development was on lands located at 11 Bushtown Road extending towards Kilmaconnell Road and Ballyness Park, Castleroe.

He advised: “The development comprises photovoltaic panels, mounting frames, a substation, 20 inverter stations, 12 CCTV cameras (3 metres high) and ancillary construction works, including perimeter fencing, new road access, internal service tracks and a temporary construction compound.”

At Wednesday afternoon’s meeting, it was also revealed that one objection had been received from a neighbour who expressed concerns about power production.

There were no objects from Transport NI, Rivers Agency, NIEA or NIE.

Following a question from Alderman Sam Cole about where the electricity would be transported, a spokesperson for the applicant explained that there was an electricity sub station approximately 300m away from the site at the Bushtown Road. The spokesperson added that underground cables would transport the electricity to the sub station.

DUP Alderman John Finlay proposed that the application should be accepted, on being put to a vote members agreed to give the application the green light.

At the same meeting, members agreed with planners to refuse the installation of a sign at Sportsland in Portrush. Members were informed that the application was for an electronic sign at 28-34 Main Street. Planners refused the application as it was contrary to policy and that they felt it may set a president in the area.

Speaking on the applicant’s behalf, Agent Liam Curry said that the arcade had seen a ‘reduction in footfall’. He added that the Portrush venue relied heavily on tourism and passing trade. The reccomendation to refuse was agreed.