Council consulted over turbine inquiry

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The Assembly’s Environment Committee has written to Carrickfergus Borough Council over its intention to carry out a wind energy inquiry.

The inquiry aims to identify the issues arising from the generation of renewable energy by onshore wind turbines and the adequacy of existing planning guidance.

It will also review the extent of engagement wind energy providers have with local communities.

In the letter, the local authority was identified as having a “particular interest” in the issue and was invited to submit a written response by February 28.

The issue came into the spotlight in the borough in recent months with two controversial planning applications for turbines at Trooperslane and New Line.

The plans, which are heavily opposed by a number of residents, led to the formation of lobby group Carrick Windwatch.

Robert Picken of Carrick Windwatch, whose Liberty Road home is close to the proposed New Line site, said the overall impact of turbines needed to be more closely examined. “There’s been a lot of concern generally about how efficient these turbines really are,” he said.

“There was a further site visit for the New Line application recently; we’ve given all the information we can so we are just waiting on the planners to make a final decision.”