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Mallon refuses planning permission for Doraville Wind Farm near Draperstown

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today confirmed that she has refused planning permission for the Doraville Wind Farm.

This follows the Minister’s careful consideration of the Planning Appeals Commission’s (PAC) report on the Public Local Inquiry which was held in September 2019.

The proposal is the largest wind farm to date submitted to the Department and is located wholly within the Sperrins Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Minister Mallon said: “This refusal was a finely balanced decision where I had to weigh up the various benefits with the harm to the local area.  I carefully considered both the findings of the independent Public Inquiry alongside the recommendations of my planning officials.

“I am a huge advocate for renewable energy that will create sustainable infrastructure for future generations. Green infrastructure represents a real opportunity for tackling the climate emergency and helping boost the economy but this should never be at the cost of the surrounding environment.

“In this case 33 wind turbines would cause considerable harm to the landscape interest of a large part of the Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its unique archaeological, cultural and tourism assets. The economic and environmental benefits of the proposal would not outweigh the harm to these important interests.

“The PAC report indicates that the scale of the proposal and the sheer magnitude of the associated change has the potential to detract from local people’s sense of place and connection to the land.  My aim is to improve people’s lives, not add to their burden so taking all of this in to account, and in line with the PAC recommendation, I have decided to refuse this application.”

• Proposal:  Erection of 33 Wind turbines (comprising 10 turbines with a maximum tip height of 136m and 23 turbines with a maximum tip height of 149m), associated transformers and switchgear at the base of each wind turbine, hardstanding areas for erection cranes at each turbine, internal access tracks and site access, operations building and wind farm substation compound and building, on site electrical cables, a parking area, two temporary construction compounds, five permanent meteorological masts and all ancillary works including borrow pits, peat storage, spoil deposition, forestry removal and minor works to the public highway between site and Magherafelt to facilitate turbine delivery.

• Location: Land Approximately 12km To The West Of Draperstown, Co. Derry/Londonderry, 2km To The North Of Broughderg. South of the B47 road and located in the locality of Doraville Lodge, Tievenameena, Glenlark Forest, Mennarodda, Tievebrack, Brackagh North, Keraghbrien and Mullaghturk.

• A Public Inquiry was held on 4, 5, 6 & 12 September 2019. The PAC report with recommendation to refuse planning permission was received by the Department on 20 February 2020.

• Application number LA10/2015/0292/F is a regionally significant planning application which was submitted to the Department for determination in June 2015.

• There were 2,160 representations received in relation to this application, of which 2,153 were objections.

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