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Residents object to €120m Mountlucas wind farm

An objection has been lodged with an Bord Pleanala to a €120 million wind farm for Mountlucas.

A group of residents calling themselves the Concerned Residents of Drumcaw have objected citing a number of reasons for their opposition to the proposal.

While Bord na Mona claim the wind farm would create 30 new jobs, the group believe there is no guarantee any of these will go to locals.

“Bord na Mona said they would be tendering the works, so there is no guarantee any locals will be employed,” said spokesperson for the group Nicola Marsden.

She said while the group are not opposed to job creation or green energy, there are a number of issues they are not happy with.

“The proposal is for 32 wind turbines. At 156 metres they will be the largest in Ireland. We are concerned about how many there will be and how close they are to people’s houses,” said Ms Marsden.

When the idea was first mooted, a public meeting was held in Daingean by Bord na Mona. She said after the information was digested a group of locals sought a meeting with Bord na Mona themselves.

After putting their views together they met with John Lynch from Bord na Mona. They put their concerns to him.

“In terms of noise we were told everything would be within the guidelines, but I want to know how it will impact on my life. We felt if they could be located a bit further away it would be better,” she said.

Ms Marsden outlined that residents also have an issue that during the construction phase heavy lorries and machinery will be using what is essentially, a bog road, and they are questioning the impact it will have on that.

She said some research suggests that constant low humming, like that produced by wind turbines, can have an effect on health.

As well as this the group claim houses located close to the turbines may be affected by shadow flicker.

Also the group are worried what effect the wind turbines will have on house prices and say that Bord na Mona should provide evaluators for this purpose, as they have done this for other projects. Finally she said there is the visual aspect, as the turbines will be located within a kilometre of some houses.

She said while green energy is of benefit, the project is still a money making one for Bord na Mona and they should be sensitive to local needs.

“We don’t want this to impact negatively on our lives or our children’s lives,” said Ms Marsden.

A decision will be made by an Bord Pleanala on December 2.
The proposed development would have a generating capacity of 80 MW and will comprise of 32 wind turbines, access trackways, crane hard-standings, underground cables between the turbines and a 110 kV electricity substation.

It was expected that the construction of the new wind farm wiould take place over an 18 to 24 month period.