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Speed limit imposed on windfarm to stop scaring sheep

A High Court judge has imposed a 3mph speed limit on vehicles operating on a mountain windfarm project in a bid to stop sheep being scared. Mr Justice Deeny also ruled that a renewable energy firm should only drill bore holes at Ballymongan Hill in Co Tyrone when flocks had been taken off for winter.

Vehicles on Tyrone windfarm must keep to 3mph, rules High Court

A High Court judge has imposed a 3mph speed limit on vehicles operating on a mountain windfarm project in a bid to stop sheep being scared.

Mr Justice Deeny also ruled that a renewable energy firm should only drill bore holes at Ballymongan Hill in Co Tyrone when flocks had been taken off for winter.

With potential profits from the project predicted in the region of 15 million, he said those behind the scheme should provide alternative pasturage and bear the costs of moving the animals.

SSE Renewables Developments UK Ltd aims to erect up to nine wind turbines on the 508-acre mountain close to the Donegal border. Planning permission has been granted.

The company has agreed to lease land from the estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith, who owned Ballymongan Hill up to his death in 1930.

Legal proceedings centre on the competing rights of sheep farmers to graze their flocks. Defendants in the case include the descendants of tenants going back as far as 1925.

One has a flock of 600 sheep while another keeps 40 animals on the mountain. With the main action yet to reach trial, SSE sought... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Vehicles on Tyrone windfarm must keep to 3mph, rules High Court

A High Court judge has imposed a 3mph speed limit on vehicles operating on a mountain windfarm project in a bid to stop sheep being scared.

Mr Justice Deeny also ruled that a renewable energy firm should only drill bore holes at Ballymongan Hill in Co Tyrone when flocks had been taken off for winter.

With potential profits from the project predicted in the region of £15 million, he said those behind the scheme should provide alternative pasturage and bear the costs of moving the animals.

SSE Renewables Developments UK Ltd aims to erect up to nine wind turbines on the 508-acre mountain close to the Donegal border. Planning permission has been granted.

The company has agreed to lease land from the estate of Fitzhenry Augustus Smith, who owned Ballymongan Hill up to his death in 1930.

Legal proceedings centre on the competing rights of sheep farmers to graze their flocks. Defendants in the case include the descendants of tenants going back as far as 1925.

One has a flock of 600 sheep while another keeps 40 animals on the mountain. With the main action yet to reach trial, SSE sought orders restraining the defendant farmers from stopping its workers accessing Ballymongan Hill or interfering with the turbine construction.

Mr Justice Deeny said the work would indisputably interfere with the defendants’ rights. Up to 25 per cent of the area would be affected in the long-term, the court heard.

Dealing with the issue of potential damages, the judge cited predictions by the plaintiffs that £15 million profit would be lost if it could not get on the site now to complete the windfarm by May 2017. A government subsidy scheme is due to be replaced on that date.

Stressing its large-scale project would bring benefits to the neighbourhood, the plaintiffs are promising to create jobs and make an annual local contribution of £161,000.

They have agreed to pay modest income streams to 18 other families with rights on the mountain if and when the windfarm is in operation. But the judge also acknowledged the loss to farmers if any sheep fell down bore holes or fled after being frightened by machinery. Granting the injunction, he said it would cover any pedestrian access to the mountain by company workers.

However, he added: “If they want to take on to the mountain, as they do, the Argo all-terrain vehicle for carrying out seismic tests it is not to be driven at a speed in excess of 3mph . . . a walking pace that should be less likely to scatter or scare sheep.”

Expressing concern at the “urgent desire” to sink bore holes, he said it should only occur when the sheep were off the mountain – normally in the middle of winter.

With farmers having been prepared to leave 250 animals on the hills due to the lack of other land, the judge suggested the plaintiffs provide alternative accommodation. “If the profits of this development really are of the extent claimed by the plaintiffs this would not be unduly onerous,” he said.


Source: http://www.irishtimes.com/n...

OCT 26 2014
https://www.windaction.org/posts/41515-speed-limit-imposed-on-windfarm-to-stop-scaring-sheep
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