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Inquiry into contentious windfarm proposal scheduled

A PUBLIC Inquiry into plans to build a major windfarm with over 30 turbines in a scenic area of the Sperrins near Greencastle is scheduled to take place this September.

The Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) is to hear submissions beginning on Monday, September 4 in Omagh Enterprise Centre.

It is expected that the hearings will continue over a number of subsequent days.

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Energy giant, SSE, has lodged plans for a £150 million project to erect the turbines.

In correspondence that has been received and considered by Fermanagh and Omagh Council, the PAC says that it will hear both formal and informal statements.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the council’s Regeneration and Community Committee on Tuesday night.

Its director, Alison McCullagh, said that the council had previously registered its formal opposition to the plans which are also being opposed by the local community.

As a result of the meeting, officers have now been given the go-ahead to submit a statement of case to the Public Inquiry, which has been updated to reflect new research on the issue.

Their submission is also expected to reflect the council’s continuing support for Broughderg Community Development Association who are strongly opposed to the plans.

The site of the proposed windfarm is just two kilometres to the north of Broughderg.

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In addition to the turbines, there will also be five permanent meteorological masts, work to remove forestry in the area and minor works to public roads.

The Public Inquiry has been ordered by the Department for Infrastructure as the proposal is seen as a ‘Regionally Significant Planning Application.’

Last week, the Broughderg Area Development Association highlighted concerns about a pre-inquiry meeting, saying that they had not received letters informing them that it was taking place or had been informed too late, leaving little time for the completion of a questionnaire.

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