Minister delays decision on Uni wind turbines

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A DECISION on two new wind turbines at the University of Ulster in Coleraine has been delayed by the Minister following a late objection.

In a letter to Coleraine Borough Council, Minister Alex Attwood said he had reviewed the application and was satisfied that Planners had made the right decision in approving the scheme.

He said that he appreciated residents’ concerns regarding the proximity of the turbines to their homes however, he said, Coleraine Council’s own Environmental Health department had been consulted and had suggested conditions to mitigate noise nuisance.

“The Department will also include a condition on the approval to mitigate against shadow flicker nuisance,” said Minister Attwood.

“The University advised the Department that in the development of the scheme the University fully considered the site constraints including neighbouring dwellings, university academic buildings and residents, the existing campus wind turbine generator, roadways and the AONB designate area.

“The University also advised that the wind turbine generator site locations were optimised to provide least impact given the site constraints and that there is no opportunity to relocate the turbines to 500 metres from all dwellings.

“The proposed wind turbine generators are at a distance from the nearest local dwellings which is similar to that of the existing campus wind turbine and noise readings taken by Coleraine Borough Council at the nearest dwelling have been found to be within designated levels.”

Minister Attwood added, however, that he had instructed his officials to delay issuing an approval decision notice as a late objection had been submitted.

“This must be carefully considered before a final decision is issued,” he said.

He said that, should this objection be considered to be of sufficient weight to alter the opinion of the Department, Council’s Planning Committee would be informed.