Wednesday 18 July 2018

Local community opposes solar farm development plan

Brendan Keane

Residents in the parishes of Clongeen and Ballymitty are urging people concerned about proposals to develop a large scale solar farm in their areas to sign a letter petitioning against the proposal and to submit their own letters of objection to the planning authority before the deadline of July 24.

Objection letter clinics will be held in Sinnott's Shop, Clongeen, on Wednesday, July 4 and 11, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Members of the local committee objecting to the development will be on-hand to give assistance in relation to submitting a letter of objection to the local authority.

The committee is grateful to everyone in the community who has already given their support to the campaign since the first public meeting on the matter took place in Clongeen Hall in April.

At that meeting Kieran Hartley, who has a Masters in Environmental Studies, gave an informative presentation to people from within the local community in relation to concerns they had about the impact the development could have on their area.

Mr Hartley said the proposed development could generate 95MW of electricity which works out at 1MW per five acres.

'An industrial plant is being proposed for this area,' he said.

Two further meetings have taken place in the interim, following which a committee was formed under the banner, 'Community First Action Group'.

Residents are also concerned that homes within the vicinity of the development could be reduced in value by 50 to 70 per cent.

According to Mr Hartley the development, if it goes ahead, would be the biggest solar farm in the country in one of the smallest parishes in county Wexford.

Committee member, Caroline Carroll, spoke of the visual impact of the development: 'This is an undulating site in a river valley and the proposed development would therefore have an adverse effect on the visual amenity of the area.'

'There is no overriding need for a development of this kind in such a beautiful location,' she added.

The Community First Action Group is composed of: Bernie McGee; Marion Brady; Caroline Carroll; Juliette Carroll; Eileen Redmond; Tony Redmond; Sharon Hudner; Ciara O'Grady; Darragh Earle and Chris Kerrigan.

New Ross Standard