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Green light for South Ros wind farm

Roscommon County Council has given the green light for a wind farm in South Roscommon, which will see a total of 14 wind turbines constructed in Dysart.

Gaeltech Energy Developments Ltd was given the go ahead for the development on Tuesday, October 4, but this decision will now be appealed to An Bord Pleanála by locals who had opposed the development from the outset.

The Seven Hills Wind Farm is planned for the townlands of Turrock, Cronin, Mullaghhardagh, Gortaphuill, Tullyneeny and Glenrevagh, within miles of Dysart.

PRO of the group, Albert van Beek said this week the group was very disappointed that the council had given permission of 14 of the 16 turbines of the first phase of a windfarm in Dysart, which he pointed out will be 135-metre high.

The development was granted permission by the council with 33 conditions attached, which cover issues such as the protection of birds and bats in the area, laying cables underground, carrying out an archaeological study at the site and ensuring that shadow flicker at the surrounding houses is limited. The planning permission is valid for ten years.

The council has also instructed that the wind farm and all its components must be decommissioned 25 years after the commissioning of the wind turbines unless a new planning permission is obtained within that time period.

Gaeltech Energy must submit an environmental monitoring report to the council on an annual basis during the construction phase until the commissioning of the wind farm is complete.

The company must also consult with the council regarding ornithology and must undertake to lay cables underground and to ensure that the blades on the turbines rotate in the same direction.

Within six months of commissioning the developer must also carry out a measurement of noise levels at the ten closest occupied dwellings.

Meanwhile, the action group has indicated that it will appeal to An Bord Pleanala. Spokesperson Mr van Beek said the group felt it had a strong case against the development.

“On the other hand we always knew that we would reach the point that this application would go to An Bord Pleanála. Granting planning permission by the planning authority is just one step on the road that will have to be followed. So on behalf of all those people who objected to this development, we will appeal this decision. This has been made possible by the relentless efforts from people in our group to raise funds in order to be able to employ the necessary consultants,” he said.

“All the gathered material and our own expertise will make a strong case against this wind farm and will be presented to An Bord Pleanála. The whole case will be reviewed including the 400-plus submissions sent in .”