Local residents have been alarmed not reassured by the information supplied by the developers of the proposed wind farm at Rockmarshall mountain.
This was in response to a request from Louth County Council for ‘Further Information’ in regard to Gaelectric’s planning application for five wind turbines.
Opposition to the wind farm is growing – over 1,200 people have signed petitions against the development and there have been a large number of individual objections.
‘ The size of the turbines and their impact is now beginning to be fully appreciated,’ says local resident and spokesperson Tómas Flynn
Each turbine will be almost three times the height of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk and the swept area of the blades of each turbine will be larger than a regulation size soccer pitch.
He points out that Louth County Council requested that the developers consider a balloon test, which would have involved raising a 10 ft. diameter helium balloon to the full height of the turbines in their proposed location but they declined.
The Protect Rockmarshall Mountain Group then requested permission from the landowner to carry out their own balloon test but were denied access to the land for this purpose.
‘ These refusals to allow verification of turbine height and scale in a simple impartial way have reinforced the concerns and alarmed local residents,’ says Tómas.
The residents who live near to where it’s proposed to build the turbines are even more worried about the effect which they will have on their health.
The Seanad unanimously passed the Wind Turbine Act of 2012 in February. This would mean that the proposed turbines could not be located within 1500m of any house.
There are over 60 houses located within 1000m of the proposed Rockmarshall turbines and a further 60 houses between 1000 and 1500m from them.
Local Senators Terry Brennan and Mary Moran spoke in full support of the Bill and Senator Brennan, who lives in Carlingford, asked the Minister ‘ to visualise the impact they will have on the local area.’
He stated ‘people in the area have concerns about noise, health and other implications of these turbines. We must listen to their concerns and protect them.’
The Protect Rockmarshall Mountain Group are not opposed in principal to wind farm development; however they say, this does not create a ‘carte blanche’ for developers to construct wind farms, irrespective of the impact on the area or on the local people.
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