Concerns over wind turbine proposals

Wind turbines: Phil Noble/PA Wire
Wind turbines: Phil Noble/PA Wire

The company behind plans for new wind turbines on the outskirts of Derry have vowed they will listen carefully to the views of local people.

Green Road Renewables was speaking in answer to concerns from a local resident worried about the impact of the proposals for a site at Brockagh Mountain.

Public consultation has been taking place at the White Horse Hotel in Campsie over the past two evenings in relation to the plans for up to 10 wind turbines with hub heights of 55m and blade tips reaching 77m.

The development would also include a substation, underground cables, and temporary contractor’s compound at the lands off Brockagh Road in Eglinton.

While no planning application has been submitted to date, in the event of this occurring, the views gathered at the community consultation events will be compiled into a report of all representations made if an application is submitted.

One local resident said the turbines would be very close to his and other local homes and would have a major visual impact and could devalue property.

“It’ll be there as soon as I pull the blinds,” he said. “There have been other wind turbines and we didn’t know about them until they started making the road up to them. Those behind them hadn’t the decency to ask us.

“This time we got no word other than a letter coming through the letterbox last week and that was the first we knew about it.

“In similar situations people are saying they can’t get a wink of sleep with the turbines and this is right out behind, a couple of field lengths from the back of our houses.

“I would be all for renewable energy but not for these monstrosities going up. There hasn’t been any guarantee these things aren’t harmful to health, but once they are up we can do nothing. People are feeling that enough is enough.”

The man said he has fought for over a decade to get one of his own children a home on his own land, “while these people can stick these things up to 250 feet”.

He added that the picturesque countryside beauty spots were being blighted by the windmills.

A spokesman for Green Road Renewables responded that the process was at a very early stage and stressed that no planning application has been submitted.

“At the moment we are just putting forward this idea and seeing whether what people’s views are on it. We want to take everyone’s thoughts into consideration and listen to what people say and work with them.

“Most people’s concerns are in regard to the visual impact but these wind turbines are not the big, big ones, which are 120ms high. These are a fair bit shorter.
“The way the topography of this ground is as well, this will be right down in the valley and won’t be as protruding into the skyline.”

The spokesman added: “We are listening to and consulting with the community. we will have to see what comes out of that.

“We are at the very, very early stages in all this. We just testing the waters and we have had mixed views so far.”