PLANNING permssion has been refused for a major windfarm project which would have seen 49 turbines erected between Castlefin and Barnesmore Gap.
An Bord Pleanana released their decision this morning.
The controversial proposals which were submitted by Cork based company Planree Ltd in early 2015, were turned down by An Bord Pleanála following hundreds of submissions having been received relating to the plans.
Cllr Gary Doherty said: “This announcement today by An Bord Pleanála in which it was decided to refuse planning permission for this development at Carrickduff Hill and Lissmullyduff is of course welcome news and is a major source of relief for the vast majority of residents throughout the FinnValley.
“It is widely known that this development was quite a contentious one for communities in the region and many feared that should the proposals go ahead that a project of this scale would have a significant impact on the quality of life enjoyed by people living within a close proximity.
“While the verdict to refuse this application was a long time coming, it’s fair to say that the correct decision was ultimately made by the Board and I have no doubt that communities here will be happy by today’s outcome.
“This result however has come about as a result of the brave and passionate campaign orchestrated by local residents here in the area who have tirelessly campaigned and lobbied in opposition to these plans.
“What needs to happen now is for the outgoing Minister to immediately introduce a moratorium on any new and upcoming wind turbine proposals until the current guidelines are updated.
“It’s clear that strict regulation is now required in relation to wind farm developments and had the necessary legislation such as that previously proposed by Sinn Féin in our Wind Turbine Regulation Bill, then communities such as those in the Finn Valley would not have had the dread and fear thrust upon them waiting on the planners to come to a decision on such controversial projects.
“Sinn Féin’s comprehensive legislation would introduce a minimum set-back distance of ten times the height of the turbine, and would afford communities the very level of protection which they need against wind farms.
“In relation to this decision today in respect of Carrickduff Hill and Lismullyduff, I must say a huge well done to residents: this it very much their victory.”