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Windfarm rejected over fears of risk to aeroplanes

A large windfarm planned for the Mount Eagle area of North Kerry was refused planning permission by Kerry County Council as it would pose a danger to aeroplanes using Kerry Airport, among other concerns.

Tralee-based energy firm Saorgus Energy Ltd applied for permission to build 28 wind-turbines – to a height of over 130 metres – at the townlands of Knockauncurragh, Coom, Glanowen and Glanawaddra in Cordal. The development plan included an electricity substation, a control building and other ancillary road and cabling works on the site.

The plan has been refused by Kerry County Council, however, because it could negatively affect water quality in the area, could constitute a traffic hazard and could pose a serious danger to aircraft coming into and leaving Kerry.

“Given the nature and scale of the proposed development and the sensitive location of the site it is considered that it is the opinion of the Planning Authority based on the submissions made… that the proposed development could lead to an unacceptable negative impact on existing water quality both during and after construction stage,” the authority said in its refusal.

A traffic hazard would also be posed by the plans: “The planning application lacks adequate detail in relation to the impact of the proposed development on the local road network and the applicant has not demonstrated the ability to carry out the required upgrades to the public road network,” Kerry County Council also found.

Of paramount importance was the welfare of crew and passengers flying into the county. “The proposed development could endanger or interfere with the safety of aircraft or the safe and efficient navigation thereof,” the council decided.