Wind turbines denounced by Sammy Wilson as damaging ‘triffids’

Sammy Wilson
Sammy Wilson

The Gaelectric letter to Sammy Wilson — in which it urged the political establishment to give “leadership” on the issue — stands out, given Mr Wilson’s vehement opposition to wind power.

In 2014, Mr Wilson wrote in this newspaper that wind turbines were “invading our landscape like triffids”.

The previous year — months after the Carn Hill wind farm in his constituency had been opened by the First and Deputy First Ministers — he warned: “On top of the damage they do to the environment and the costs which they add to electricity bills it is now becoming apparent that wind farms reduce house prices in areas nearby.”

He went on: “In my own constituency five major wind farms are planned in some of the most beautiful areas of the causeway coast and the Antrim Plateau.

“The companies involved are trying to buy off opposition by promising tens of thousands of pounds to community organisations something encouraged by the planning department because the last minister and the previous minister know that their policies on wind farms are unpopular and they are hoping that these sweeteners will reduce opposition.

“In other circumstances this would be regarded as corruption but such is the rush to promote this expensive and damaging source of electricity that it is politically encouraged.”

A January 2013 letter from the East Antrim MP which is held in the planning file, shows that he was concerned that Gaelectric’s promised ‘community fund’ was proving difficult for local people to access.

In the letter to planners, he said: “I have been contacted by constituents who are affected by the Carn Hill wind farm. I understand that the developers have put aside a community fund [of] £250,000 but no-one seems to know how to access it.

“Perhaps you could give me the address of the developers who made the planning application so that I can make contact with them on behalf of my constituents.”

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