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Yesterday, Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon confirmed she intends to call a public inquiry into the Gruggandoo Wind Farm proposal in County Down.


The application, which proposes eight turbines with an overall height of 142.5 metres, was logged over seven years ago on 16 March 2015.

RenewableNI believes each planning application should be judged on its own merit, but is concerned that the length of time for decisions on renewable energy applications is a major disincentive to investment.


Announcing the public inquiry, Minister Mallon said “Green infrastructure represents a real opportunity for tackling the climate emergency and helping boost the economy”.  However, her Department does not have a track record in approving such opportunities.

Responding to this, Head of RenewableNI, Steven Agnew said:

“Unfortunately, a seven-year wait for the NI Planning System is not unusual.  Our planning system is the single biggest barrier to the delivery of our renewable energy goals.  Renewable projects spend more than double the length of time in the planning system in Northern Ireland than GB.

“This is yet another example of the inability of the NI planning system to make timely decisions – the Minister contributing to this failure.  By requesting a public inquiry she is further extending the time this development is on hold.

“We can only tackle climate change with a streamlined process for green infrastructure projects, including renewable developments and the associated grid upgrades.  Without effective planning NI will not meet renewable energy and climate targets.

“With local councils developing policies that could see an effective ban on new onshore wind development, the message to developers has been to go elsewhere.  This means lost investment in clean, indigenous energy and continued reliance on expensive, imported, polluting fossil fuels.”


For media inquiries please contact Judith Rance, Communications and Events Manager, RenewableNI,, 07875-681-794.