Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has today (March 16) announced her decision to grant planning permission for a wind farm in the north-west.
The application for Corlacky Wind Farm was submitted in May 2016, and came before the minister as a ‘regionally significant’ development.
The decision to grant permission follows careful consideration of the Planning Appeals Commission report on the hearing which was held in October 2019 and is in line with the commission’s recommendation to approve the proposal.
The proposal is for 11 wind turbines close to Brockaghboy wind farm in the Sperrins Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
‘Benefits outweigh potential impact’
Minister Mallon said: “This approval was based on a finely balanced decision where I had to weigh up the various benefits against any potential harm to the local area. I carefully considered both the findings of the independent Public Hearing alongside the recommendations of my planning officials.
While I am always conscious of potential impacts to the surrounding environment, green infrastructure does, however, represent a real opportunity for tackling the climate emergency, helping to boost our economy and creating a sustainable infrastructure for future generations.
“In this instance, I agree with how the commissioner has weighed up the considerations in this case, with the exception to their interpretation on the extent to which the proposal would impact on the settings of the archaeological monuments.
“However, I do not consider that the impact is sufficient to warrant refusal. I am satisfied that the environmental and economic benefits are in favour of the proposal and outweigh any potential impact on the archaeological sites in the vicinity.”
Three letters of support and one letter of objection were received in relation to this application.