Decision on wind turbine must wait

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MAGHERAFELT District Council has deferred making a decision on whether a 180-foot wind turbine can be placed in a Sperrin beauty spot close to an area used for religious pilgrimage.

The council want further clarification on a number of issues before deciding on the proposal for Lough Patrick near Sixtowns, Draperstown.

SDLP Councillor Kate Lagan, who has been opposed to the planning application since it was first mooted back in 2007, asked for the deferment at the monthly meeting on Tuesday night.

Pressure Group Friends of Lough Patrick have lodged objections to the erection of the turbine and a number of public meetings were held in Draperstown to give local people an opportunity to voice their views.

Planners’ received more than 40 objections from individuals concerned that harm would be caused to site if the turbine got the go ahead.

The Friends of Lough Patrick was set up to fight the proposal and defend the historical and religious significance of the site.

Lough Patrick, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is believed to have been used for pilgrimage over 1200 years, possibly before the arrival of the Vikings.

Magherafelt councillors are not expected to give their decision until they meet next month.