Pigeon Top re-submission

Project: Nine wind turbines (Up to 27MW total)
Location: 1800m north east of Cornavarrow Road, Dooish, Drumquin, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Turbine: Up to 3MW
Dimensions: Up to 85m hub height, up to 46.5m blade length, up to 126.5m overall height
Status: Planning Permission Granted 15th November 2012 (Planning Ref:K/2011/0592/F)
Resources: Supplementary Information

The site is located within the townlands of Legphressy, Segully and Unishinagh near to the summit of Pollnalaght in an area known as Pigeon Top. This is located approximately 8.5km south west of Omagh, County Tyrone. The proposed development area consists mostly of upland farmland and moorland, with the turbines located at elevations between 145m – 235m above sea level (ASL).

The Pigeon Top project was originally refused planning permission for nine wind turbines on visual and cumulative impact grounds on 03rd December 2009 and an appeal was immediately lodged by TCI Renewables with the Planning Appeals Commission in Belfast in December 2009. An informal hearing was heard at Strule Arts Centre in Omagh on 15th September 2010 and the project was subsequently granted planning permission by the PAC on 13th December 2010.

TCI Renewables wrote to the planning service on 4th May 2011 seeking a determination Under Part II Regulation 6-(1) of The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 (Amended 2008) for an amendment to the existing Planning Permission to seek the following changes to the approved plans:

  • Increase in overall turbine height from 99.5m to up to 126m, rotor diameter from 71m up to 90m and turbine tower height from 64m to up to 85m.
  • Removal of access track spur and optimised reconfiguration of hardstand for consented Turbine 5 (WTG 5).
  • Provision for potential increase in foundation dimensions, from 18.2m diameter to up to 21m x 21m.

The request sought confirmation whether the proposed amendments would require a new Environmental Impact Assessment as defined by the same Regulations. Planning Service responded formally by letter on 10th August 2011 that an Environmental Statement was not required.

A formal planning application seeking the amendments was submitted on 26th September 2011 and was formally granted planning permission on 15th November 2012 under planning reference K/2011/0592/F.

Environmental and Economic Benefits:
The wind farm will produce a net saving of approximately 22,900 tonnes of CO2 per annum through displacing fossil fuel fired generation. Over the 25 year life of the wind farm it will displace, at current comparisons, approximately 570,000 tonnes of CO2. Based on British Wind Energy Association figures for average annual UK household electricity consumption of 4,700 kWh, the wind cluster will provide the equivalent electricity for approximately 11,500 homes per year.

An estimated £4,000,000 will be spent in the local economy on; development, financing, legal arrangements, delivery, construction, materials, plant and auxiliary equipment.

Three land owners are involved in this development, each of whom will receive an annual income from the sale of electricity from the wind turbines for the lifetime of the project. A wind farm offers farmers an option for diversification for lands which are typically upland grazing, marginal in quality and offering relatively poor returns.

Planning Application:
Submitted to Belfast Planning Service Headquarters Special Studies Division in September 2011. The application was supported by supplementary information on the proposed amendments and any perceived environmental impacts from the development.

Copies of the planning application and the supplementary information may be inspected free of charge at the following place:

Planning Service
Millennium House
17-25 Great Victoria Street
(028) 9041 6700
(Strictly by appointment only)