Parish objects en masse to wind plan

Ballylongford locals set to lodge 'community' objection to latest wind farm plans for area already heavy with turbines

A display at the meetings showing Ballylongford hemmed in by the turbines.
A display at the meetings showing Ballylongford hemmed in by the turbines.
A wind turbine above Kilflynn, on which a blade snapped off on Saturday.

Dónal Nolan

A 'community objection' against a plan to erect eight new wind turbines near the village of Ballylongford is being organised after more than 100 locals voiced concerns at public meetings on the proposed development at the weekend.

Meetings organised by group NMWT@Ballylongford (No More Wind Turbines At Ballylongford) took place in Ballylongford and Asdee on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in response to a planning application lodged by The Ballylongford Windfarm Group with the authority on September 12 last.

The Ballylongford Windfarm Group is comprised of 12 local landowners who are seeking to erect eight turbines (each at a height of 126.5m) next to the Tullahinnell Wind Farm which is already under construction in the area.

Locals are now growing increasingly concerned over a variety of issues relating to the profusion of the turbines on this slice of the Wild Atlantic Way. NMWT@Ballylongford chair Tony Dowd said the concerns raised at the meetings ranged from the visual impact of the huge structures on the area to noise pollution including low-frequency sound, shadow flicker, possible impact on health and the devaluation of homes and property.

"It was agreed by all attendees that construction of a further 8 Wind Turbines would represent an unacceptable and disproportionate concentration of Wind Turbines in the vicinity. NMWT@Ballylongford strongly opposes any further development of this nature in the locality and to avoid further industrialisation and demise of the local area, a Community Objection is being organised," Mr Dowd said.

The latest flashpoint in the renewable industry comes as Kerry County Council undertakes a review of a report from 2012 that found much of North Kerry of no scenic value.

Residents of the Stacks Mountains above Kilflynn were meanwhile shocked to discover that a blade on one of the many turbines in the area had snapped in half sometime on Saturday. The company responsible for the turbine mounted an operation using a crane on Tuesday morning to deal with the issue.