Minister ‘will meet’ KellsVocal - McKay

Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay says that Environment Minister Mark Durkan has accepted his suggestion to meet with the KellsVocal group about their concerns over solar farm plans.

Members of the public and supporters of Kells Vocal who attended last week's public meeting about the proposed Solar Farm in Kells & Connor Community Centre. INBT 32-107JC

He said: “I think the Minister is doing the right thing taking up my invitation. We need to see regulations and planning policy to ensure that small rural communities are protected from over-proliferation and a discussion on how we can integrate this technology into rural areas with as little disruption as possible.”

Politicians from opposite ends of the constitutional spectrum have combined to express their qualms about the impact the solar farm plan could have.

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TUV leader Jim Allister has called for a public inquiry, saying: “I am also greatly concerned about the disigenous suggestions of job creation – yes, jobs would be created in the construction, but they would not be sustained throughout the life time of the solar farm – only minimal jobs would be sustained on a local basis..

Members of Kells Vocal with a model of the area and how the proposed Solar Farm would look at Tuesday evening's public meeting in Kells & Connor Community Centre. Included are Mervyn McMullan, Jane Burnside (vice-chairperson), Tom McGarry Arthurs, Nikki Nesbett, Pamela Dennison (secretary), Ed Crawford (chairman) and Eileen Russell. INBT 32-101JC

“I have now put it directly to the Minister responsible that there is an absolute need for a Public Inquiry under his powers.”

“Not only is this application divisive, but a decision without proper scrutiny can set a precedent that could have a long lasting impact across Northern Ireland.”

Daithi McKay MLA who attended last week's meeting in Kells & Connor Community Centre. INBT 32-108JC