September 1, 2010

Public consultation for Sliabh Ban plan

By Staff Reporter, Longford Leader, Published Date: 03 September 2010

On September 14 next a public consultation will take place at the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown, from 4pm to 9pm. The consultation is being organised by forestry and renewable energy company, Coillte and aims to address local concerns with regard to the proposed wind farm at Sliabh Ban.

The company has also recently met with members of the Sliabh Ban Community Group, of which Mike de Jong is a member.

“Four of us met with three of their representatives recently,” he said in a recent interview with the Longford Leader. “They advised us of the public consultation and we are pleased to have it. Our only concern is whether they will listen to us.”

Coillte have recently advised that they are reducing the number of wind turbines on the proposed farm from 25 to 21, but are increasing the height of a number of them to 131 metres.

“The final height of the turbines can only be decided when all of the data from the wind analysis is available. Coillte is still gathering information from the wind monitoring equipment installed at Sliabh Ban and it is only when all data is available that the final height of the proposed turbines can be determined,” said a spokesperson for Coillte.

In addition to this the company has addressed concerns regarding noise pollution by stating:

“One concern raised was sound that may be generated by wind turbines. In reality, any noticeable sound is absorbed over a distance of 200m to 400m from the turbine, depending on the existing background levels of noise. The design guidelines stipulate a minimum distance from nearest dwellings of 500m. However, Coillte is proposing a minimum distance of 700m from dwellings for each of the turbines at Sliabh Ban.

“In addition, the maximum number of trees will be retained on Sliabh Ban and this will further lessen any sound from the turbines,” he added.

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