Planners reject turbine plans.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

RESIDENTS who have endured "years of noise disturbance" caused by a wind turbine say they are pleased with recent planning developments.

Planners have rejected retrospective planning permission which proposed to keep the turbine in its current location which was not approved by planning.

The wind turbine on the Newcastle Road, Castlewellan was erected in the latter months of 2013 and sits 90 metres away from its original site location approved by Planning Service in 2010.

The turbine stands at 40m from base to nose with the original planning permission granted for a 30m-high turbine.

A planning proposal to retain the turbine at its current location was received by planning back in May and The Outlook has learned that this has been rejected meaning the proposal will be brought before Newry, Mourne and Down District Council's planning committee where members will vote on the retrospective application.

It is expected to happen some time in December.

Not only was the turbine erected in a spot which it didn't have permission, findings issued by Environment Health (Newry Mourne and Down District Council) concluded that the turbine breached noise guidelines set out by ETSU-R-97 which is a document published by the UK government detailing the preferred method of assessing wind farm noise for planning purposes.

Further to a consultation request from the Planning Office dated 18 September 2017, Environmental Health stated "the operation of the wind resulting in a breach of the required noise limits" and it is the opinion of Environmental Health that "the operation of the wind turbine is highly likely to have an adverse impact on the amenity of nearby noise sensitive receptors".

Concerned residents have voiced their objections and causes of concern believing "no thought was ever given for the health and safety of neighbours or visitors".

Damien Rice whose house is located in close proximity to the turbine says he has suffered "severe headaches and wakes from his sleep" due to the noise emitted from the turbine.

Mr Rice hopes councillors within the planning committee will take his and other residents' objections on board when making their decision.

In a previous article, Mr Rice told The Outlook that there is a "constant hum" which has greatly affected his sleep with other neighbours commenting on the disruption too.

Councillor Patrick Brown said he was pleased that the Planning Department has taken the "correct decision in recommending to refuse" this application for retrospective planning per mission.

"I have been opposed to this particular application since its construction on the basis that it was built in entirely the wrong place and has therefore had a significant negative effect on the amenity of local residents. This was proved by a noise impact assessment carried out by the council.

"I am fully supportive of renewable technology and turbines but only when they abide by the planning laws.

This attempt to gain planning permission retrospectively only undermines the planning process and wind turbines in general.

"I hope that following the advice of planners, councillors on the planning committee will make the right decision and vote to refuse this application when it comes before them."


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