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Monday, 11 November, 2002, 07:19 GMT
Concern over wind farm plan
Local people say they will not be easily persuaded
Local people say they will not be easily persuaded
Residents in County Fermanagh are concerned over a proposal to build the largest wind farm in Ireland in their area.

There are currently three planning applications being made to build wind farms in the west of Northern Ireland.

The plan for the farm in Fermanagh, at the Knocks, would be the biggest on the island of Ireland to date and local people are making clear their feelings about the proposal.

They say it would have a major impact on the scenery around the townland.

However, according to the company behind the proposal for a wind farm, the site at Carricknabrattoge meets all the criteria.
There are currently three planning applications
There are currently three planning applications

They say it is not designated for conservation, is a suitable distance from housing and is in a very windy area.

It is a trade-off between scenic value and green value, acknowledged by Sasha Workman from the company, B9 Energy.

It is holding exhibitions at Knocks and in nearby Newtownbutler to allow residents to see what is being planned.

Supply power

But in the Knocks, local people say they will not be easily persuaded.

Earlier this year, several hundred people held a protest against plans to build a wind farm off the north coast of Northern Ireland.

The 200m project would be located in the sea between Portstewart in County Londonderry and Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.

If successful, it could supply power to 170,000 homes, 28% of all homes in Northern Ireland.

Waves, BBC
Locals cite the beauty of the Portstewart coastline
However, the north coast is famous for its sea views and some residents feel "clean" energy would be generated to the detriment of tourism, one of the area's main incomes.

The plans would involve constructing up to 85 turbines, each almost 200 feet tall.

If the project goes ahead, one third of the output of Kilroot Power Station would be generated in what would be the largest off-shore wind farm in the UK.

A consortium has been appointed to investigate the feasibility of the project.

It is made up of B9 Energy Offshore Developments, Renewable Energy Systems and Powergen Renewables Developments.

If initial exploration is successful, work to construct the wind farm could start in 2005.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Louise Cullen:
"It's a trade-off between scenic value and green value"
See also:

19 Aug 02 | N Ireland
25 Jun 02 | N Ireland
12 Nov 01 | UK
14 Feb 02 | N Ireland
14 Feb 02 | Scotland
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