Proposed wind farm prompts angry reaction from residents

September 16, 2013

The town of Newtownhamilton, considered to be one of the most deprived areas within Newry and Mourne, now faces what many residents claim is a further assault on their lives  with proposals to build a huge wind turbine farm in the vicinity, involving up to thirty turbines in the radius of a few miles.

A spokesperson for concerned residents stated that the turbines were being positioned in an area that would totally affect the life and character of the town.  Among the windmill proposals is one forwarded by Newry and Mourne District Council to be placed at the Newtownhamilton Recycling Centre on the Newry Road.

Residents claim that the proposals will adversely affect the long tradition of agriculture in this area as well as the abundance of wildlife.  It may also affect people of the area who seek  planning permission and mortgages, and will create health risks including noise pollution and sound frequency which can have dramatic effects on the more vulnerable people within the community.

There is also the possible contamination of land and waterways and the effect on animal welfare.

It is understood that residents in Newtownhamilton and the surrounding areas have asked for a public meeting to discuss the seriousness of the overall situation.

A residents’ spokesperson also claimed that the latest proposals amounted to yet another backward step in efforts to promote the wellbeing of a town that has suffered greatly in recent decades.  These setbacks include the permanent upgrading of the Police Barracks which is having a detrimental effect on traffic and attracting business to the town. There is also the installation of a large telephone mast in the area involving a string of electrical pylons which are arranged through the heart of the community.

And just recently the town received another blow with the announcement that the Cattle Mart, which had been running since 1901 and bringing trade to the town for well over a century, is to close this month.  It has also been rumoured increasingly that the fire station within the town is to be downgraded and re-sited out of the area

The proposal to construct a large wind farm overlooking the town has been described as the latest blow to a community who bit by bit are being deprived of hope in what is supposed to be an age of peace and progress.