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Still outstanding issues with Ballyduff wind farm

One of first wind farms to be constructed within The Avondhu catchment is becoming a reality close to the townlands of Toor and Liss which are situated between Ballyduff Upper and Araglin.

Known as Barranafaddock Wind Farm, contractors are currently laying stoned roadways to facilitate the erecting of turbines. It’s understood that hundreds of tonnes of concrete will be needed for the turbine bases. Given the remote nature of the location and modest road network serving the site, existing roads will have to be significantly upgraded to allow for the transport of turbines.

Through the various planning stages, local landowners have had to be negotiated with and financial settlements entered into. While there’s no stopping the 12 turbine 34 megawatt project at this stage, a number of contentious issues have arisen between the owners of Barranafaddock Wind Farm and the Ballyduff/Araglin landowners. In some instances, affected landowners are claiming that money is outstanding, for others the installation of padlocked barriers to the windfarm site is proving problematic while a significant number are arguing that the issue of turbary rights and access to established turf cutting areas hasn’t been established.

One thing that isn’t in doubt is that communications between the landowners and the company are at an all time low – a situation landowners say is the fault of Element Power who are overseeing construction of the wind farm. On Thursday, April 24, locals met with public representatives at the site. Councillors James Tobin, John Pratt, Tom Cronin and Frank O’Flynn attended. All were supportive of the landowners and expressed the hope that with the necessary goodwill, an amicable agreement could be reached.