One MLA has hailed what he sees as an assurance that NI Water’s land in the Mourne Mountains will be protected against wind turbines.
UKIP’s David McNarry grilled company representatives at the Stormont’s Regional Development committee last week, asking if the current Reservoirs Bill offered protection against wind farms being dotted around its properties.
He was told in response that whilst it is not the bill’s purpose: “The protection of those catchment lands is very much within our gift and that of our shareholder unit and the regulator,” and also: “There is nothing to compel NI Water to accept any structure on any land.”
Afterwards, Mr McNarry said: “I’m delighted to have it put on official record that wind turbines in the Mournes on land belonging to NI Water is not going to happen.”
In October, when the News Letter asked questions about leasing land for wind farms – something mentioned in one of its draft strategy documents – the DRD (which owns NI Water) had said: “NI Water currently has no plans to lease land for wind turbines in the Mournes.”