Parish 'for sale' in protest at planned wind farms
FOR sale -- one parish beloved by its inhabitants, but considered of limited scenic or heritage value by the local authority.
Residents of the Finuge area in north Co Kerry have taken the unusual step of putting 'for sale' signs on their properties because they say they will no longer want to live there if controversial proposals for a wind farm go ahead.
Stacks Mountain wind farm Ltd is proposing to construct 10 windmills on bogland at Ballyhorgan, in north Kerry, but locals are vehemently opposed to it because of the proposed height of the turbines.
Plans unveiled at a public consultation forum revealed the windmills would be more than 150 metres high, the tallest constructed anywhere in the country.
Kerry County Council's Renewable Energy Strategy has earmarked the north of the county as being "open to consideration" for renewable energy.
A spokesman said wind speeds were adequate and there was no issue with the heritage of the area.
However, he added that any proposal would have to go through the planning process -- locals say they will fight it every step of the way.
Gerard Doyle, chairman of Ballyhorgan wind farm Action Group, says the proposed turbines were taller than The Spire on Dublin's O'Connell Street.
"Our biggest fear is that if this proposal for 10 turbines goes ahead, what's to stop them building 200 more?" Mr Doyle said.
"All of north Kerry is being looked at and these developments are being pushed on communities -- but we're not prepared to give up our homes," he said.
Mr Doyle, who owns land overlooking Listowel, has no intention of allowing any wind farm development on his property and he's urging other landowners to consider what they may be getting into.
"Apart from shadow flicker and the noise, we're also concerned about the health issues associated with them," he said.
New national guidelines say turbines cannot be constructed within 500 metres of a home.
Mr Doyle said his group was not reassured by this, and was receiving advice and support from other communities around the country that have opposed similar developments in their area.