Residents of Slaughtmanus have submitted their objections to a proposed wind farm in their area, which they say they only found out about in the summer.
Energy firm RES have submitted plans to build seven turbines for the townlands of Barr Cregg, Ballymaclanigan and Slaughtmanus.
However, residents against the plans have come together to form the Slaughtmanus Community Conservation Group in a bid to prevent the plans from going forward.
“The residents of Slaughtmanus have been campaigning against the RES application for a proposed windfarm and associated power station in our neighbourhood,” a spokesperson told the Journal. “We have not been consulted by RES whether we wanted a wind farm, but were informed of their intentions at a public meeting in Listress Primary School three months ago.”
The spokesperson said RES “have been working on the proposed development for three years”, while the spokesperson said residents had until this week, October 1st to object.
In the meantime, the group has met several times, attracting attendance from a number of representatives - SDLP MLA John Dallat, Sinn Fein MLA Cathal O’hOisin, Bob Parke, environmental campaigner, Adrian McQuillan, SDLP Councillor, Brenda Stevenson, SDLP MLA, Mark H Durkan and Sinn Fein Councillor Paul Fleming.
“They have given their support to the concerned residents and believe that the proposed location is inappropriate,” said the spokesperson.
The residents have a number grounds on which they are objecting to the proposed wind far, as the spokesperson outlined:
“Visual Clutter: The cumulative effect of the existing turbines together with the additional proposed windfarm will totally destroy the attractiveness of a sheltered mountain river valley.
“Noise: The construction phase could be up to seven days per week and 12 hours a day for well over a year. The operational phase will be for 25 years of infrasonic and ultrasonic noise. This is reckoned to be harmful to health by Professor Alun Evans of Queens University.
“Shadow Flicker: The blades can cause flicking of low sunlight (especially in winter). Epilepsy sufferers can be harmed by this. The topography of the proposed sight will concentrate both noise and visual effects.
“Burntollet River: Wash from the concrete foundations will end up the River Faughan/Foyle system.
“Transport: The rural road system is inappropriate for heavy lorries. Our roads are already being destroyed by the construction traffic of the neighbouring wind farm at Glenconway.
“Strategic Planning: The politicians have agreed that there needs to be a proper strategy in Stormont for energy needs.”
The spokesperson added: “The very least the politicians can do is ensure that they are located in appropriate places. There are more than planning issues at stake.”
On their website RES say: “The proposal is for seven turbines each with a maximum height of 125 metres to the tip of the blade. The proposed wind farm has an indicative installed capacity of 12.6 megawatts (MW) which will generate clean, renewable energy equivalent to the annual electricity demand of an estimated 7,000 homes a year.”