Alliance Assemblyman Kieran McCarthy has given a guarded welcome to news of a tidal energy project to be based at Portaferry.
The Ards Alderman stated: “Those who seek to protect the environment and move towards meeting out obligations under the Kyoto Protocol will be encouraged that the Environment Heritage Service has given the go-ahead to the tidal energy project in Strangford Lough.
“This project brings with it the promise of good, clean energy alongside some local employment. I am pleased the Strangford area will have the chance to take the lead on this issue.
“However, this project has caused some concerns for local residents, particularly in the Portaferry area. People are genuinely concerned that they may wake up to find a monstrosity on their doorstep, that would spoil the scenery of the area and have a negative effect on tourism. They are also concerned about possible effects on fish life within Strangford Lough itself.
“I would like to see the Government assure local people that the effects of this project will be wholly positive.
“I want to see a project which provides an efficient, clean and cost-effective energy source without having negative effects on tourism in the local area. I firmly believe this is achievable.”