North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that applications for solar farms outside Rasharkin need to take into account the views of local residents and must be ‘proportionate’.
He said: “I have always been a supporter of renewable energy and it is to be welcomed that in recent times we are increasing the amount of solar power being generated on this island.
“However we do need to guard against an over-proliferation of solar panels in one place. From speaking to local people in Rasharkin it is clear that they are supportive of solar farms in this area as long as they do not encroach on the integrity of this part of the Bann Valley. It is clear to me that there needs to be fulsome engagement by renewable energy companies with local residents here.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Cathal McLaughlin added: “Following on from information events held in the village we will be meeting with those seeking to build solar farms in Rasharkin.
“Solar companies and the Planning Service do need to take into account the integrity of this part of the Bann Valley and how any such application will affect that.
It is clear that solar farms are a good renewable source of energy and we do need to build more of them. We also need to make sure that they are in keeping with the local area.”