Interested parties are being asked to comment on the guidance, which is contained within the Wind Energy Development in Northern Ireland’s Landscapes supplementary planning guidance.

It outlines the sensitivity of the various areas identified in 2000 for the possible development of wind energy.

Minister Foster said: “Energy from wind has an important role to play in helping reduce emissions of the harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.

“We in Northern Ireland are well placed to take advantage of this form of renewable energy, benefiting as we do from one of Europe’s best wind resources.”

She said it is vital that wind farms and turbines are located in the right places, and that the landscapes of the most scenic areas are preserved.

“That is why I have issued the new guidance which considers the landscape sensitivities of different parts of Northern Ireland and am keen to hear the public’s view,” she added.

In related news, some £1.3m has been earmarked to develop renewable energy such as wind turbines in rural schools in Northern Ireland, as part of the Switched on Schools initiative.

Ben Meggeson

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