Constituency 9

Fraud Concern At Proposed Carnalbanagh Wind Farm
 
Sammy has expressed his concern about the proposal to build a wind farm at Carnalbanagh which will consist of 7 wind turbines which will be 400 feet high.
 
He was disturbed that such a proposal for an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Antrim Plateau and believed that such a proposal would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area and as had been proven in other situations, would have a detrimental impact on people who live close to the turbines.
 
Already an application for a similar proposal has been turned down by the Planning Service and Planning Appeals Commission nearby at Feystown and the Carnalbanagh area is even more sensitive than the Feystown application was.
 
One aspect of this application which is disturbing is the fact that bogus letters purporting to come from local residents who have asked me to support the application have been sent.
 
I had contacted those residents indicating that I would not be able to accede to their request to give support to the proposal and was disturbed to find out that some of those who had supposedly written to me in support of the application when they received my reply were appalled because they were actually in opposition to the proposal and did not want these massive industrial turbines to be erected in the area.
 
They were appalled that their names had been used, that letters had been sent on their behalf purporting to claim that as local residents they welcomed the proposal and it is rather sinister that someone who clearly wishes this application to succeed has been prepared to fraudulently use their neighbours names to try and give the impression there is community support for this development.
 
The fact of the matter is that we already have scores of these wind turbines now desecrating the landscape in East Antrim, they generate expensive electricity, give very little economic benefit to the local community and all of us pay for the cost of subsidising these monstrosities in our electricity bills. Only this week it has been revealed that the green taxes on wind turbines, solar power etc will cost households across the United Kingdom £150 from next year. Instead of purchasing electricity from the cheapest source electricity suppliers are obliged to purchase renewable electricity. This already adds £84 per year to the typical annual electricity bill and with prices going up next year they will add a further £75 to the typical annual bill according to British Gas.

Without the environmental levies imposed on electricity consumers none of these turbines would actually be cost effective so every turbine erected adds further costs to every individual’s electricity bill. They do not represent good planning, they are not good environmentally because they destroy areas of natural beauty and they are not good economically either and it is significant that some of those who seem to be promoting them now have to use bogus letters of support to enhance their case.
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