Carnlough wind farm: online exhibition to ‘gauge views’ on proposals

An online exhibition has been held as part of a public consultation into proposals for a 14-turbine wind farm on the Antrim coast.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 12:18 pm
Suggested view from Harbour Park, Carnlough.

The Unshinagh Wind Farm would be located four kilometres west of Carnlough  in the townland of Unshinagh Ticloy and Shane, if it is approved by the Department for Infrastructure.

The project is being developed by Larne-based company Renewable Energy Systems (RES) based at Millbrook, the same company that is behind a proposal for Ballygilbert Wind Farm outside Ballygally.

A proposal of application notice has been submitted to the Department for Infrastructure. The company says that environmental and technical surveys are being carried out in addition to consultation with relevant statutory bodies, organisations and the local community.

The company has suggested that the development could be worth £3.9m to the local economy in the form of employment and would continue to build on the success of the renewable energy sector.

It has explained that the online exhibition was designed to inform the local community about the proposed Unshinagh Wind Farm and gather people’s views.

RES says that the wind farm, which would have 180m high turbines, would be capable of generating the equivalent to the electricity usage of around 70,000 homes each year.

An environmental impact assessment will be carried out to investigate any potential detrimental effects of the impact on the environment.

There has been an angry reaction on social media in Carnlough to the proposal with the proposed structures being described as “horrible” and asking why they could not be placed “further back” where they would not be so visible.

One said: “Absolutely horrible. How very very sad. I’m sickened by this.”

Another said: “This is going to be a blot on the landscape in an area of outstanding beauty.”

“An absolute eyesore and blight on the landscape”, was another comment.

In a statement to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Coast Road DUP Councillor Andrew Clarke said: “While I welcome the pictures of how Carnlough would be left after the proposed windmills go up, the results are worse than expected.

“As you enter the village along the Causeway Coastal Route, the turbines would be the first thing to greet you, in a very visually dominant way. MEA council have developed a campaign themed ‘Shaped by Sea and Stone’, hoping to capture a growing tourism market through our stunning scenery. It is difficult to see how this proposal fits with that.

“The Antrim Glens are unique in their dramatic, rugged landscape. With each turbine a little bit of that uniqueness dies, and we are all left the poorer.”

The public consultation will continue until October 8.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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Click here to read: New 14-turbine wind farm proposal near Carnlough ‘at an early stage of design’

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