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Controversial wind farm gets board approval  

Credit:  The Connaught Telegraph, www.con-telegraph.ie 27 September 2011 ~~

An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead to PWWP Development Limited for a wind farm consisting of four wind turbines, an anemometry mast, electrical sub-station and other works at Cloontooa, Claremorris.

The decision of Mayo County Council to grant permission in the first place had been appealed by John Keane and Kevin Deering

The grounds of appeal argued the cumulative effect of the proposed development in association with other wind farms in the area was not properly assessed.

They further claimed a proper ecological survey was not carried out and the planning conditions imposed by the council were described as ambiguous and unclear.

In his appeal, Mr. Derrig noted the wind farm development is located on rare cut-over raised bog which is of national and international importance.

In less than 400 years Ireland has lost 87 per cent of its best peat lands.

“Ireland contains 50 per cent of all bogs in Europe. Thus we have a duty to preserve this habitat. The world’s peat lands contain more carbon than is currently in the earth’s atmosphere.

“As bogs disappear, carbon is released so continued drainage and destruction of peat is not an option as it stores 446 billion tonnes of carbon, twice as much as the world forests,” he argued.

He also stated no bat survey took place.

New evidence showed that bats suffer from barrtrauma as a result of the sudden drop in pressure as they approach turbines. He also claimed no year round bird survey or ecological survey took place.

The appeal by Mr. Keane was made by Peter Sweetman and Associates.

It stated necessary information for Mayo County Council to assess the likely significant impacts of the development were not available prior to making its decision.

Paul Caprani, an inspector with the planning appeals board, examined the site and planning file in question.

In his assessment, he said he was satisfied the council had the necessary information to determine the application and the suggestion the environmental impact statement was flawed did not stand up.
He expressed the view the proposed development would not seriously injure the residential amenities of the area or property in the vicinity, would not be prejudicial to public health, would not seriously injure the ecology of the area and would be acceptable in terms of visual impact. In upholding the council’s decision, the board revised planning conditions imposed on the applicants

Source:  The Connaught Telegraph, www.con-telegraph.ie 27 September 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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