Local organisations against the construction of wind turbines have joined forces with anti-pylon groups to form a new national pressure group.
The new group, which has yet to be named, was formed after representatives from various anti-windfarm and pylon groups held a protest on Vinegar Hill in Wexford earlier this month against what one protester described as the government’s “fatally flawed” energy plan.
Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Lakeland Windfarm Information Group (LWIG) spokesman Andrew Duncan, who is one of the founder members of the new organisation, which brings together some 200 groups from across the country, says that the powers that be had “deliberately misled” the public over the link between the multi-billion euro plans to construct industrial windfarm and pylons across the midlands.
“There was a deliberate policy to pretend to people that the two projects aren’t linked as it will lead to huge opposition…This new group is a large outfit with groups from at least eight or nine counties. We are going to have anti-pylon groups and anti-windfarm groups combining to march in Dublin on April 6. From the feedback we received, this is going to be very large.”
According to Mr Duncan, the battle to prevent windfarm developers Mainstream and Element Power’s plans to construct hundreds of turbines across Westmeath and rest of the midlands from coming to fruition is entering a critical phase, not least because the European Commission is about to significantly reduce the mandatory renewable energy targets for 2020.
“Such a high level of opposition is growing because people are making the links between windfarms and turbines. They see that the planning applications for a number of farms such as the one in Cloghan have been turned down. The whole concept of wind energy as benign has been undermined by recent events and people don’t have the same association with them.”
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