Cookstown wind farm plan refused

A wind turbine. (Archive pic)
A wind turbine. (Archive pic)

Mid Ulster District Council’s Planning Committee has turned down a controversial plan for the construction of eight wind turbines near Cookstown.

There were more than 1,500 objections to the application for the erection of the 126m high turbines and associated works on a site just off Ballynagilly Road, Lissan.

The council said the proposed development, partly located in the Sperrins Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was “refused on the grounds of its unacceptable impact on neighbouring residents, on the visual amenity and landscape character of the area, as well as on its wider archaeological heritage.”

With the committee having approved another wind farm plan near Fivemiletown at the same meeting on May 1, the local authority issued a statement insisting it takes “a balanced approach” to wind turbine planning applications.

It said councillors were in favour of the proposal for seven turbines on a site north of Fivemiletown as it was “outside of any protected area, where habitat management proposals have been developed and where there is the infrastructure to support the development.”

Speaking after the meeting, Chair of the Planning Committee, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan, said: “We are in favour of renewable energy proposals in the right place and the decision-making shows that, where conditions allow, wind farms can be accommodated.

“Our overriding consideration will always be environmental protection and the outcome of the committee’s deliberations demonstrates a balanced approach to the issues.”