The installation of a substation by NIE close to a residential area in Drumsurn has sparked concern among some residents and politicians.
NIE say the substation in the village is to feed a new housing development in the area.
Brian Donnelly, who lives in Churchview in Drumsurn, described the substation as “an eyesore.” He’s worried it will impact on house prices.
“I have no problem with substations, but there could have been a better location for this one. To me, it’s impacting on the character of the village. If you’re going to install a substation don’t put it along the main road, don’t put it just a few metres away from the old chapel ruins - a landmark - and on the bend into a housing development,” said Mr Donnelly. “Put it somewhere hidden away, not opposite a focal point in the village. It’ a bad spot and it will impact on house prices. I’ve spoken with other residents and they’re annoyed about it too.”
Local Sinn Fein Councillor, Brenda Chivers also holds concerns about the substation’s location. She said she had spoken with NIE in relation to the matter.
“I have grandchildren who live in the area and I live in the village too, but I am told it is a necessity,” she said.
There could have been a better location for this one. To me, it’s impacting on the character of the village.Resident Brian Donnelly
Fiona McClintock, NIE Networks Customer Relations Manager said the installation of the substation “is part of our ongoing investment work in the North West and will also feed a new housing development in the area.”
“The permanent site for the small substation was agreed with the local housing developer, who owns the land.
“We have leased the footprint of the substation and are happy for the developer to plant the area surrounding the substation if he wishes, while maintaining access for our engineers as necessary,” said Ms McClintock.
“Due to the size of the substation we are not required to consult with local residents as it is viewed as permitted development under planning legislation.”
Ms McClintock added: “NIE Networks constructs and operates all equipment in accordance with statutory requirements, statutory guidelines and international best practice. We also encourage the general public to stay safe by staying away from electricity equipment through our on-going “Safety Saves Lives” and Kidzsafe awareness programmes with contractors, farmers and young people.”