Whitehead wind turbine plan delayed

Wind turbine
Wind turbine

A controversial proposal to erect a large wind turbine at a scenic beauty spot overlooking Whitehead and Islandmagee has been put on hold after new information was submitted to planners.

At the latest meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s planning committee, elected members were due to consider an application by Whitehead Golf Club for a 45.5m single turbine at McCrae’s Brae.

However, new information was received from the applicant just 48 hours before the committee met.

And, on the advise of planning officials, it was agreed that the application should be withdrawn from the agenda, to be considered at a later date.

The Times understands that the applicant is seeking to reduce the height of the turbine to 41.9m.

In a statement, the council explained that new information relating to any application before council should be received by members five working days in advance for their consideration.

Chairman of the committee, Councillor Robert Logan said: “I recognised this was a very sensitive application that had a potentially significant impact on the local community.

“I supported council’s decision to withdrawn the application on the grounds that new information was submitted by the applicant only 48 hours before the committee met.

“This did not allow planning officers and elected members an opportunity to carefully consider its impact.

“Therefore a decision could not be made, as time did not allow.”

The application was withdrawn on the proposal of Cllr Stephen Nicholl, seconded by Cllr Audrey Wales, with a vote of nine for and one abstention.

The proposed turbine has been greeted by a chorus of condemnation from the local community, garnering over 300 letters of objection. The primary concern voiced by lobbyists is the potential visual impact the structure could have on the surrounding landscape.