| 5.7°C Dublin

Environment group's concern over wind turbine plans

THE Macroom District Environmental Group has raised concerns over a planning application for 11 wind turbines in the Toon Valley.

Ted Cook, speaking on behalf of the group said this week it was not the areas of special protection that concerned the group but the protection of species outside of these areas.

"We are interested in the breeding, nesting and roosting spots, far from SACs, of endangered species and some of those exist in the Toon Valley," he said.

Four cases currently in Europe, he said, touched on the Cleanrath project.

Mr Cook said that they were concerned with the definition of sustainable development as defined at the Rio Earth summit in 1992, development that concerns species and ecosystems locally, regionally and globally to ensure viable populations of rare species and not impacting on other ecosystems.

"Environmental democracy is the foundation of sustainable development and local communities especially are encouraged to engage in the planning and development of their townland and parishes. Local communities best know their own local geology and biology," Mr Cook said this week.

MDEG are concerned that development of industrial wind energy in Ireland does not become a free for all with irreversible consequences for vulnerable or rare floral and fauna species as in the very recent case of the loss to wind turbine on the Cork Kerry border in the adjoining parish to Inchigeela of a white tailed eagle, Mr Cook said.

"During 2004, MDEG engaged in the consultation process concerning guidelines for industrial wind projects and sought external and independent validation of all geophysical and ecological information contained in each development application. We reiterate our recommendations to Phil Hogan the new environmental minister," Mr Cook said.

It is understood that a public meeting will be held on Monday evening at Creedon's Hotel at 8pm.