Greens Welcome Lifting Of Planners' Renewables' Ban

“If every local planning office took the attitude that the UK’s policy switch to renewable energy was correct, but not correct for their own area, there would be no renewable energy anywhere in Northern Ireland. We are lagging well behind the norm in Europe and the Republic of Ireland,” added Mr Flynn. [caption id="attachment_21711" align="alignleft" width="331" caption="Green Party Councillor Cadogan Enright with Paddy Flyn of Green Energy 4U and environmental activist Bill Corry, a former Down District Green Party Councillor."][/caption] Councillor Enright said, “Many local farmers are trying to do their bit by the environment, as well as reduce their long term costs and remain competitive. The Carson family’s wind turbine at nearby Tyrella is used to heat pig-pens. They had to struggle against all sorts of horrendous obstacles to get connected with a turbine that worked. We have to make the switch to renewable energy easier for  farmers with appropriate sites”. He further welcomed the change in policy by planners, “The change in attitudes in the local planning service is very welcome. Last year there was a policy in place preventing the development of renewable energy from Sliabh Croob right across the Mournes area and back to Lecale. This was in the face of the National Parks report recommending in favour of a permissive regime for local farmers and businessmen for wind-turbines. “This policy also ignored that planning policy PPS18 was equally in favour and overall UK targets. Large numbers of planning refusals were being based on ‘visual amenity’. Local stone quarrying and other businesses were unable to get affordable energy for their work and were being blocked from accessing wind turbines. “This was stopping the creation of jobs, threatening existing jobs and blocking new income sources for farmers, businesspeople and householders as well as doing nothing for Global Warming. We now have a new range of opportunities opening up here in Lecale.  Northern Ireland spends £1 billion per year on fossil fuel imports, and this money needs to switch to our home market and to our area.” said Councillor  Enright.]]>