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Windfarm plan is blown away  

The development of a 15 turbine windfarm on the lower reaches of the Ox Mountains has been halted with Bord Pleanala rejecting the project on the grounds that the construction of a windfarm would be “a highly obtrusive development that would detract from the rural character and scenic amenities” of the area .
The planning appeals board agreed with Mayo County Council and refused permission for the project at Carrowleagh, Bonniconlon, an area recognised in the current Mayo County Development Plan as a sensitive landscape.
Martin, Joseph and Michael Loftus were denied permission by Mayo County Council on January 29 of this year before taking the case to Bord Pleanala. Mayo County Council refused permission for the proposal for three reasons relating to injury to the visual amenities of the area and property devaluation, prematurity pending the preparation of a wind energy strategy for the county, and the deficiency of the EIS. Bord Pleanala upheld that decision.
There is an existing 10 turbine wind farm at Kingsmountain south of Templeboy in County Sligo that is visible from the appeal site and Bord Pleanala has recently granted permission for a further 13 turbine wind farm development at Crowagh Mountain, west of Kingsmountain. The northern foothills of the Ox Mountains are clearly an area under pressure from such development.
“The cumulative impact of distinctly separate wind farm developments is likely to result in significant change to the extensive unspoilt upland landscape character of this highly scenic area and merits critical evaluation at this location in the vicinity of the Ox Mountains.” This latest proposal was deemed to result in what would appear as an unacceptable linear spread of wind farm development in this sensitive upland landscape.

Western People

14 July 2004

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