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Concern as controversial work begins close to historical burial site

Concerns have been raised after work began on erecting a wind turbine close to a Neolithic burial site.

Contractors today (Thursday) began erecting the huge turbine close to the Knock Iveagh Cairn site after it had been temporarily halted by planners last month.

However, that 28-day stop notice expired at midnight on Monday and this morning sections of the turbine were moved into position.

Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council says it is still considering revocation of the turbine’s planning permission.

But that in turn may leave ratepayers footing a £750,000 compensation bill.

Read more: The 11 most deprived areas in Co Armagh, revealed!

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Energy, Environment and Climate Change Cathal Boylan has expressed his unease with the project.

“There are serious fears that the turbine will have a detrimental impact on the integrity of the historical site.

“The expiration of the 28-day stop notice has allowed construction to begin but Sinn Féin are calling for all work to be suspended until a full public inquiry can be carried out to establish the full impact of the development.

“This is needed due to flaws in the 2013 consultation process which did not engage with experts including archaeologists in the Historic Environment Division of the Department of Communities who have since come out in opposition to the plan to erect a mast on the site.

“Local residents were also not made fully aware of the consultation process at the time.

“Sinn Féin supports the expansion of renewable energy production that will allow us to cut our over reliance on fossil fuels and move towards a more-sustainable, low carbon society.

“However, this cannot be at the expense of important heritage sites which have been protected for thousands of years.”

Read more: Man accused of watching porn and ‘amusing’ himself in Co Armagh shopping centre

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