independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Gaeltacht residents appeal against wind farm decision

RESIDENTS in the Muskerry Gaeltacht have appealed Cork County Council's decision to grant planning permission for a wind farm development.

Cork County Council decided in June to grant permission to Framore Limited for a wind farm which would be constructed on a 700-acre site in the townlands of Doireach, Ráth Gaiscígh and Leac Bheag between Réidh na nDoirí and Béal Átha 'n Ghaorthaidh.

The development proposal includes six turbines 150 metres high and rotor blades with a 100m diameter, a substation, internal access roads and underground cables.

The local authority received over 50 observations from local residents objecting to the development.

The objections raise concerns regarding health, noise and shadow-flicker issues, depreciation of houses and other property values, wildlife and the environment, as well as impact on the scenic Mouth of the Glen area.

Planning permission was approved despite the fact that the Council's own Area Engineer recommended refusal in three internal reports filed from July 2012 to April 2013. "I believe the development would have a very negative impact in a scenic area," said the Macroom Area Engineer in his concluding report.

In its decision, the County Council mentioned national policy on sustainable energy sources and the County Wind Energy Strategy, which deemed the area "not strategically unsuitable" for such development.

A comprehensive submission signed by 19 residents has been sent to An Bord Pleanála, appealing the permission.

The appeal comes in the wake of a judicial review sought by two local residents regarding An Bord Pleanála's appeal decision last April to overturn CCCs refusal to Cleanrath Wind Farm Ltd for an 11 wind turbine development in the same Gaeltacht area.

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