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Huge opposition can’t stop Laois wind farm

A new wind farm has been approved for the south east Laois in the face of opposition from the residents of two counties and concerns from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Lisheen III Wind Farm in the townland of Graigueadrisly will see two wind turbines to a height of 156m built at the Laois portion of the wind farm, with a further six turbines to be built in Kilkenny and underground cable laid at Kiloran, Co. Tipperary.

Some 90 people from Laois and Kilkenny forwarded a petition to Laois County Council objecting to the wind farm, and submissions were also made by a number of residents. John and Lily Doyle, Kyle, Rathdowney, and Joseph and Ann Doyle, Rathpatrick, Crosspatrick, Kilkenny, cited noise, light flicker, and health issues, and pointed out that the national planning guidelines review on wind turbines is not yet complete. Monica Curran, Kyle, Rathdowney, said the turbines would be very unsightly and would interfere with telephone reception; and Sean and Fiona Doyle, Kyle, Rathdowney, raised concerns over the visual impact of the turbines, and noise, light flicker and health issues.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht added its voice, recommending that a qualified archaeologist carry out a full assessment of certain portions of the proposed lands. The department claimed that part of the zone was of “very high archaeological potential” and insisted that a further archaeological impact assessment was needed.

In a separate application, the National Roads Authority recommended that the council consider the potential impacts on the road network from the new development.

Despite all these concerns, Laois County Council has now granted permission for the wind farm, subject to conditions. The environment section has requested details from the developer on waste management during construction of the wind farm, with waste to be sent for recycling where possible and waste water from staff facilities to be disposed of in an appropriate manner.