A community group has warned local people that the beauty of the Braid Valley could be blighted by the equivalent of up to 40 Statues of Liberty.
The Braid Valley Preservation Group has said a new application for 22 wind turbines on Elginny Hill, outside Broughshane, will have a “devastating impact” on the area’s scenery making a mockery of “the Gateway to the Glens”.
The group met last week to discuss the application by a Letterkenny based windfarm company to construct on the western hills close to Broughshane, and the possibility of another wind farm of 16 turbines on the neighbourin Coreen Hill
“If the plan goes ahead this will quite probably be the largest windfarm site in Ireland, and certainly the closest to a high density population area,” Iain Davies, Braid Valley Preservation Group, said.
Mr Davies said the result of the proposed scheme would be that “thousands of people in the County Antrim area as far as Lough Neagh and Ballymoney will be forced to look out on these monstrosities on a daily basis”.
“We’re not talking about a wind turbine farm such as the one at Elliott’s Hill. The proposals are on a scale never seen before in Ireland. They will be two-and-a-half to three times the size of any existing turbine,” Mr Davies said.
He added: “There is little doubt that if this application succeeds, it will set a precedent for many others along both sides of the Braid Valley.
“Indeed a Dutch Company is preparing to submit a similar application for a windfarm of up to 16 turbines on Coreen Hill.
These proposals if approved will make a mockery of the Braids claim to be “The Gateway to the Glens”.
Mr Davies said the proposed turbines would be over 100 metres high – as big as the Statue of Liberty.
“So can you imagine up to 40 of them dotted along an area of outstanding natural beauty?” he said.
He added: “There are also the issues of constant noise, devaluation in property, interference to TV reception, as well as having to put up with night time warning lights for aircraft, not to mention living in a building site while they are built that local residents will have to put up with not to mention a big impact on the whole borough.”
The Braid Valley Preservation Group has set up a website - www.saveourskyline.co.uk - with information on the proposed wind farms and is asking for local people to see the application and send their responses and any objections to it before the November 6 closing date.
Mr Davies can be contacted on 07814429789 for more information about the proposals.
Broughshane Community Association are in possession of detailed documents supplied by the wind farm proposers to the Planning Service, which includes surveys on ornithology, ecology and the habitat of the proposed development for the area.
Sandy Wilson, chairperson for the community association said that a summary of the two proposals had been distributed to the representatives of the community association’s affiliated groups.
Mr Wilson said that he would like to make the community aware that this information is available for public inspection at the Community’s Resource Centre at Houston’s Mill during weekdays between 9.30am and 5pm.