Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MP has condemned the recommencement of construction of a controversial turbine near the historic Knockiveagh Cairn burial site in County Down.
Work began after a 28-day stop notice expired but the South Down MP is calling for it to be halted pending a public inquiry.
Mr Hazzard said:
“The expiration of the 28-day stop notice has allowed construction to recommence 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.
“We believe this is required 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.
“The public are angry that authorities have once again let them down when it comes to the protection of nationally significant heritage sites such as Knockiveagh. It appears that when it comes to taking difficult decisions the path of least resistance is being prioritised at the expense of what is the right thing to do. That is extremely regretful.
Mr Hazzard added:
“I fully support 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.”