Mixed views on wind farm application for Garvagh

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THE Coleraine area could be in line for a wind farm.

At last Tuesday’s Planning Committee of Coleraine Borough Council an application for five wind turbines at Ballyrogan Road in Garvagh appeared on the schedule as an approval.

The application by TCI Renewables proposes to erect five turbines up to a height of 120 metres with associated transformers and a meteorological monitoring mast.

There are 18 objection letters to the application and a petition signed by over 300 people in support of the application.

There were mixed views in the chamber about the application.

UUP councillor William King supported the application and proposed that members should support the Planning Department decision.

DUP Alderman Maurice Bradley also supported the wind farm application saying:”This is the way forward.”

Representatives from TCI Renewables were in attendance at the meeting.

Members were told that as they had given notice that they would be attending, the representatives could address the meeting and answer any questions from members.

Alderman McClure was not in favour of this.

The DUP man said: “Objectors have the right to have their opinions heard.”

Independent councillor David McClarty agreed with Alderman McClure, he said: “I support wind energy, but we should give the objectors their say.”

DUP councillor George Duddy questioned the impact a delay may have on the application.

Members agreed to allow a TCI representative to answer this question.

The representative told the meeting that the wind farm was one of four applications submitted under the ‘Programme for Government’ scheme. He told the meeting that if there was a delay in the application it would no longer qualify in meeting the six month target in the scheme.

On being put to a vote members voted in favour of having an office meeting about the application