Notice of Opinion for Refusal of planning permission for proposed Unshinagh Wind Farm

Date published: 10 January 2024


The Department for Infrastructure has today issued a Notice of Opinion to refuse planning permission for the Unshinagh Wind Farm.

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The Regionally Significant planning application, which is located within the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), was for a proposed windfarm comprising 14 (three-bladed) horizontal axis wind turbines.

In reaching the decision the Permanent Secretary of the Department has given full and careful consideration to all material planning considerations.

Due cognisance was given to the contribution that renewable energy can make to both the economy and tackling climate change; however in this case the significant harm that would be caused to the landscape of the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the ecological impacts on protected species within the Antrim Hills Special Protection Area along with the archaeological, cultural and tourism assets in the locality outweighed the economic and environmental benefits.

The Permanent Secretary made the decision under powers laid out in the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2022.   

Notice of Opinion to refuse will now issue to the applicant and Mid and East Antrim Council who may seek a Hearing before the Planning Appeals Commission, within 42 days of the date of the Notice of Opinion.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Planning Reference: LA02/2021/1205/F
  2. Proposal: Proposed windfarm comprising 14 (three-bladed) horizontal axis wind turbines, each up to a maximum height of 180 metres to tip height, associated external electricity transformers, underground cabling, newly created site entrance, access tracks, turning heads, crane hardstandings, control building and substation compound, battery energy storage containers, tree felling, off site areas of widening to the public road and all ancillary works.During construction and commissioning there will be a number of temporary works including a construction compound with car parking, temporary parts of crane hardstandings and welfare facilities.
  3. Location: Lands approximately 5 kilometres south west of Carnlough and 5 kilometres west of Glenarm, Co. Antrim, in the townlands of Drumourne, Unshinagh Mountain, Unshinagh South, Ticloy, Slane, Cregcatten (part of Galdanagh) and Aughareamlag. The proposed site entrance is located to the eastern boundary of the site and is approximately 150m north of Doonan Leap Car Park. The southern boundary of the site is approximately 380m from the Slane Road, with the northern boundary approximately 2.4km from the village of Carnlough.
  4. Power Output 58Mw
  5. objections were received in relation to this application and 1 letter in support of the  application were received.
  6. Following the issuing of a Notice of Opinion an applicant or the Local Council within which the proposal is located may seek a hearing be convened by  the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC). Where a hearing is held the PAC prepares an independent report and, following consideration of the report a final decision can be made by the Department.
  7. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure   Press Office at 
  8. The Executive Information Service operates and out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800 hours and 0800 hours Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110
  9. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure and on LinkedIn @DfiLinkendin


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