A LOCAL campaign group has welcomed an inquiry by Stormont’s Environment Committee into wind energy.
The committee is calling on the public to submit their views on wind energy, the impact it has on Northern Ireland’s environment and the wind industry as a whole.
Campaign group West Tyrone Against Wind Turbines this week welcomed the probe and called for a halt to all wind applications while the enquiry is ongoing.
Spokesperson for the group, Owen McMullen, said, “This is what we have been pushing for. We have had various meetings with the Environment Committee and the Health Committee about wind farms and turbines and they are now seeing the importance of what we have been saying.”
Currently around 70 per-cent of all wind turbines are situated on hills and mountains above Strabane and Omagh. West Tyrone Against Turbines has driven a high profile campaign against what they say is the negative impact from wind farms on natural flora, fauna, wildlife as well as human health.
“We are hoping that this will be an independent inquiry and one that will expose the truth behind the wind industry and how it operates,” Mr McMullen continued.
“The guidelines they operate under were set down in 1996 by the wind industry themselves with a review scheduled to take place in 1998. That has never happened and that is the sort of thing we hope will be investigated through this Environment Committee inquiry.”
A closing date of February 28 has been earmarked for submissions. Anyone looking to respond can do so via the Assembly’s website or by calling 02890 521783.
Calling for a postponement of all wind turbine applications until the process is complete, Mr McMullen added, “We would like to see a halt to all planning applications until the findings of this inquiry are made known. If this was an inquiry into food then all those food items would be removed from the shelves until the investigation in complete. So why not the same for this?”