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Cookstown debate on wind energy as planning applications for turbines rise

Wind turbine

Wind turbine

The people of Cookstown will have the chance to have their say on wind energy at a special event organised by the Rural Community Network (RCN).

In recent years there has been an increase on the number of applications for wind farms most of which are in rural areas.

The debate will be held on Wednesday April 16, in the Conference Hall, Admin Building, Loughry College, Cookstown.

One proposed area for the development of a wind farm is in the area of Doraville, Broughderg and the Glenelly Valley in the Sperrins, of which there have been strong objections to.

Cookstown Councillor Sean Clarke told the MAIL there are severe implications to consider with wind farms.

“The turbines have got that big and that high you are talking sometimes there is a wind farm that hasn’t gone to planning yet but in preparation for it and it is for the tip of the turbine to be nearly 200 metres high which is in around 600 ft. There is no building in Belfast even anywhere near that height. They are absolutely massive,” he said.

Cllr Clarke continued: “To construct the like of what they have applied for in the Sperrins, that land is all blanket bog. Blanket bog is a very, very important habitat. It is a growing organism that has been there for over 5,000 years and to interfere with that would wipe that out on the spot.

“Also the blanket bog is very important for retaining water, it holds water for weeks, it evens the flow of water and keeps the peaks from being as high.

“These bogs have a great part to play in the whole environment there is such a variety of plants and insects which are part of our spectrum of environment, if you take out something, you are liable to wipe out that system.

“The impact of that can’t even be negated because once you go interfere with the likes of that, in this case the blanket bog, and do away with food for key creatures in the environment you are liable to wipe out the whole cycle and it is irreplaceable. You cannot put it back, it is too big a risk.”

 

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