Page last updated at 09:45 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 10:45 UK

Wind farm 'splitting community'

wind farm
Gaelectric want to build seven turbines at the Drumsurn site

A proposed wind farm at Drumsurn in County Londonderry has split the community, Limavady's mayor has said.

Gaeletric want to erect seven turbines at Smulgedon due to the wind speeds.

The farms would power about 10,000 homes, but some residents have said there are already too many wind farms in the Sperrins.

The town's Mayor, Brenda Chivers of Sinn Fein, said: "We're hoping to get all the parties around a table and solve this."

Gaelectric invited the public to view its plans in Dungiven on Tuesday night.

Around 30 supporters of the wind farm were at the meeting but members of the Roe Valley Anti-Wind Farm Group decided not to attend the meeting.

Group secretary, Deborah Mullan, said the group have sent a letter to Gaelectric, outlining their opposition, and their intention to fight the project "all the way".

"We are yet to be convinced the farms need to be built in Drumsurn," she said.

"We do have to move forward and renewable energy may be that way but do we need to have so much in one small area.

"We're not convinced by the arguments made by the company, this a beautiful area and we want to promote that."

Gaelectric operations director, Mike Denny, said three wind farms in one area is not particularly high.

"There are other areas of Northern Ireland where there are a higher concentration of wind farms.

"This is just a case of everyone having to do their part - In NI we import 94 per cent of fossil fuels which is not sustainable," he said.

Gaelectric said they contacted 34 households within a 1km radius.

The company said of the 28 that responded, 18 expressed support for the wind farm.

The planning service will decide the future of the wind farm but a decision could take up to two years.

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