Presentation on theme: "LISNAHARNEY WINDFARM Ref: K2013/0181/F Our Reasons for its Refusal."— Presentation transcript:
LISNAHARNEY WINDFARM Ref: K2013/0181/F Our Reasons for its Refusal
Presentation Outline Introduction to Lisnaharney Residents Group (LARG). Outline of LARG’s Reasons for Objection to the Proposed Wind Farm. Community Opposition. Other Bodies Who are Opposed to this Wind Farm Development. Next Steps.
Who is the Lisnaharney Area Residents Group? We are a Registered Community Group. Our aim is to promote and to maximise the potential of our area for the recreational and tourism use. We have our own active Facebook page and website Committee: Chair - Jason Devine Vice Chair - Shauna Ward Secretary - Kerry Coyle Treasurer - Rena Weir
Why are we opposed to the wind farm development? Detrimental Impact on Visual Amenity and Landscape Character. Located in an AONB. Creation of a Cumulative Effect. Negative Impact on Tourism and Recreation. Negative Impact on Residential Amenity. Negative Impact on the Environment.
The Impact To our Visual Amenity In accordance with Supplementary Planning Guidelines this LCA’s overall sensitivity to wind farm development was rated as “High”. It is described as follows: “The majority of this landscape is highly sensitive to wind energy development, notwithstanding the presence of existing and consented wind farms. This is an iconic and widely visible Sperrin landscape, whose summits and steep upper slopes are particularly sensitive to the introduction of any new structures. Sensitivity is further increased by the LCA’s popularity for outdoor recreation…..Overall Sensitivity – High”
The Impact To our Visual Amenity Adverse impact on visibility and views from well known local view points and vistas: The Gortin Glens. Gortin Lakes (NI Quality Walk). Gortin Forest Park and Scenic Drive (Containing 3 NI Quality walks). Robbers Table Walk (NI Quality Walk containing 2 public rights of way). National Cycling Network. The Ulster Way. Mullaghcairn. The History Park. A5 Scenic Route. The magnitude and scale of the 14 Turbines will have on views from homes on the Lisnaharney Rd in particular, as quite a number of these are facing the proposed site.
The Impact To our Visual Amenity Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) response to Planners dated 15 th August 2013 states: “ the proposed development is unacceptable in landscape and visual terms”. “this is an iconic and widely visible Sperrin landscape.... Sensitive to the introduction of any new structures.” “Sensitivity is further increased by the LCA’s popularity for outdoor recreation”. The “Lavender Test” reference below: “ Visual Impact 66. Paragraph 39 of the PPS22 Companion Guide affirms that the planning system exists to regulate the development and use of land in the public interest”. Dr Lavender found:“when turbines are present in such number, size and proximity that they represent an unpleasantly overwhelming and unavoidable presence in main views from a house or garden, then there is every likelihood that the property concerned would come to be widely regarded as an unattractive and thus unsatisfactory (but not necessarily uninhabitable) place in which to live. It is not in the public interest to create such living conditions where they did not exist before.”
Impact on AONB Best Practice Guidance to PPS18 indicates that a cautious approach is necessary in landscapes designated as AONBs. NI has a renewable energy target of 40% by % has already been consented. Contributions from less intrusive renewable energy sources eg solar, hydro, biomass etc will mean that this target will be reached. Continual opening of AONBs for wind farm development must be seriously considered if longer necessary.
Creating a Cumulative Impact NIEA stated in their response to Planners dated 15 th August “The proposed development will have a significant cumulative visual impact on the immediate area”. “The existing developments at Bessy Bell already give rise to concerns regarding cumulative impact within this LCA”. Planning applications in process for extension of Bessy Bell and 7 turbines at Slieveard. All within a 10km radius.
Impact on Tourism and Recreation The Supplementary Planning Guidance states: “Areas offering access to high quality landscapes, memorable places and special experiences and a range of opportunities for open air recreation may be more sensitive to wind energy development”. The Gortin Glen area has a huge potential to be developed more for outdoor recreation. Current scoping exercise being undertaken by Outdoor Recreation NI Council members were in attendance with us recently at an Creggan. MOU being developed between ODC and Forestry Division.
Impact on Tourism and Recreation June 2013 The Gortin Glens hosted NI Mountain Bike Championships. At opening of Castlewellan Mountain Bike trail, Arlene Foster stated:- “NI is building a reputation as the new go to place for mountain bike adventure. The number of bikers has already exceeded all expectations and this is a reflection of the quality of trails not only as a test of ability but also the beauty of the scenery and landscape in the Mournes”. Over 100 mountain bikers, local cycling club and Omagh Tri Club have all objected to the proposed Lisnaharney Wind farm”.
Impact on Tourism and Recreation Study entitled “The Impact of Wind Turbines on Tourism” prepared for the Isle of Anglesey County Council (Feb 2012). Survey by Activity Scotland states that 88% of operators believed the impact of wind farms on tourism to be negative. Tourists visiting wind farms were by a novelty factor which wears off when turbines are more common place.
Impact on The Robbers Table Walk
Impact on Residential Amenity British Medical Journal dated 10/03/12 by CD Hanning and Prof Evans. Recommends separation distances between turbines and houses of 1.5km. Houses on Lisnaharney Rd are 900m away. ETSU-R-97 requires updating. Ancedotal evidence of residents of sleep disturbance and other health issues. Shiveen and 7 other families in Banteer Co Cork are taking developer to High Court.
Impact on Residential Amenity Estate Agents are briefing potential buyers of proposed wind farm in our area. Buyers withdrawing from sale. Knock on effect on rural communities and services within the area especially our schools.
Impact on the Environment LARG are engaging with relevant specialist to assist with a study on the environmental impacts. This report will be submitted to planners in due course. 4km North is the Owenkillew River Special Area of Conservation, designated by the EU Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. The burns on the Southern catchment area from the proposed site, namely Lisnaharney and Cappagh Burns are of special interest to the Loughs Agency. The presence of eight red-listed and eleven amber-listed species we believe is concerning should the application progress. This same mountain suffered the effect of a hill fire a few years ago, this happened a year before any Environmental Impact Studies were started, effectively wiped out any potential species that could cause planning concerns.
Community Opposition Over 260 Objection letters signed from local residents within the local roads. Over 1300 objection letters signed in total.
Other Organisations Who have Objected Outdoor Recreation NI Sports NI Mountaineering Ireland Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs 4Elements NI Coasteering NI Adventure Sports North West Walk with Marty Omagh Tri Club Omagh Harriers Strabane Ramblers
Next Steps LARG will continue to object strongly on behalf of the residents in the area. LARG are committed as a group to develop the recreational and tourism potential of this area, and will continue to assist and help ensure this can be completed with assistance from bodies such as ODC, ORNI, SPORT NI, etc. Communicate and influence with key decision makers. Continue to engage in scoping and consultation exercise to promote tourism and outdoor recreation in our area. Would appreciate ODC support in objecting to this Lisnaharney Windfarm.
Other concerns Renewable Energy International (REI) have since been found in breach of Advertising Standards by ASA. The information leaflet they distributed at information evenings breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.9 (Qualification), 3.11 (Exaggeration) and 11.1 (Environmental claims). Copies of the report are available to councillors if required. A link to the online version was sent to all councillors last week. Added concern that the developer has already got this site (Lisnaharney) up for sale to the highest bidder on a number of their websites.