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Wind objectors secure massive victory in vote  

Credit:  By Dónal Nolan | The Kerryman | 14 January 2015 | Update: published online 17/01/2015 | www.independent.ie ~~

Wind farm protestors in north Kerry secured a massive victory on Monday when councillors voted to block companies from developing new turbines in the area.

As a result of Monday’s vote, no new wind farm development applications for locations within the Tralee and Listowel municipal areas will be considered until 80 per cent of the outstanding windfarm plans already obtained for the region are developed.

The council decision, voted for unanimously by the 27 councillors present, is a massive victory for a group that was founded over a year ago to oppose plans for a ten-turbine farm in the Finuge area.

The North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group was set up to lead local protests against the Finuge windfarm plan.

But the campaign reached far beyond Finuge, as the group warned about the potential for largescale future windfarm development across the whole region.

The campaign was undertaken amid fears the massive turbines planned for Finuge would affect people’s health, devalue homes and dominate the entire area by their sheer scale.

Protestors also shone a light on council policy over windfarm development in the area, pointing out how a previous elected council had voted to designate much of north Kerry as being of ‘no scenic value’ and, hence, open to consideration for windfarm development.

Councillors were lobbied intensely by the group in recent months.

“We’re delighted with the outcome of Monday’s vote and it’s a real example of democracy in action to see the 27 councillors voting unanimously on it,” NKWTA chairperson Gerry Doyle said.

North Kerry (Tralee and Listowel areas) currently has 114 wind turbines, with ‘ live’ planning granted another 133. But not until 80 per cent of these ‘ live’ turbines are erected will any new plans be considered.

Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd’s plan to develop the ten turbines in Finuge will not be affected by the vote as it was initiated prior to the new County Development Plan (2015 – 2021).

The plan was refused by Kerry County Council, but appealed to An Bord Pleanála which is expected to make a decision in two months’ time.

“We would be hoping now that An Bord Pleanála would take cognisance of the fact that the council and local residents don’t want these kinds of developments,” Mr Doyle added.

Source:  By Dónal Nolan | The Kerryman | 14 January 2015 | Update: published online 17/01/2015 | www.independent.ie

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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