Plans for a 100-acre solar farm at Tullaghans Road, Ballymoney, have been approved by the Planning Committee of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
The application by Elgin Energy of Bristol is for land located north of Bann Road, east of Ballmaconnelly Road, west of Finvoy Road and north of Moneyleck Road, Rasharkin.
The plans are for the construction and operation of a solar farm with a total generating capacity of 25MW covering 100 acres of land.
Members of the committee were advised by Planners to grant permission for the scheme saying: “The proposed solar farm development is considered acceptable in this location having regard to the draft Northern Area Plan and other material considerations. The development is an appropriate use of the land and is
acceptable in terms of its effect on residential amenity, effect on heritage interests and layout/ appearance. Approval is recommended.”
Cllr Sam Cole asked where the electricity generated would be drawn from? Despite Cllr Philip McGuigan making a point of order about the relevance of the question, representatives for the application replied that there would be a contact point in Rasharkin via an underground cable laid by NIE.
Cllr Joan Baird said the development was a “considerable size” and asked for reassurance regarding spacing between panels and the issue of local wildlife.
Representatives told her that there would be a buffer zone around the site which forms part of the planning aplication in order to protect biodiversity in the area.
The recommendation to grant permission was proposed by Cllr Padraig McShane, seconded by Cllr Barney Fitzpatrickandwas carried following a vote.