The first big test of new rules governing wind farm applications for the North Kerry area under the County Development Plan is expected within weeks as Coillte prepares to lodge an application to erect a wind turbine near Causeway.
Locals learned of Coillte’s plans in recent weeks as the company raised awareness of its intentions to erect a single turbine in an area of forestry it owns in Aghamore just 2km from Causeway.
Already, the plans have sparked local opposition. A public meeting on the issue took place at Killahan National School – less than 2km from the site of the proposed turbine – on Monday night where members of the North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group set out their fears over the looming application.
Chairman of the group and Killahan NS Principal Gerry Doyle said the group fears it would lead to Coillte erecting more turbines at Aghamore if given the go-ahead amid their concerns over the possible impact on local health, noise levels and the visual impact.
“Why is this a cause for concern? It could pave the way for countless other turbines,” Mr Doyle said in a statement issued this week.
However, they say the new County Development Plan (CDP) rules should ensure the plan will not be considered.
Thanks to the NKWTAG’s campaign against a proposed windfarm in Ballyhorgan, Finuge, councillors adopted a new CDP rule earlier this year. That rule proscribes the council from considering any new applications for wind turbines in areas open to consideration in North Kerry until at least 80 per cent of undeveloped wind turbines with planning permission are developed.
“But thankfully we are protected. This action would be in direct contradiction with the New County Development Plan ,” Mr Doyle stated.
“There is more eveidence than ever before on the impact of noise pollution, shadow flicker and health implications as a result of wind turbines. Will the County Development Plan be worth the paper it was written on? It needs to be, otherwise our futures hang in the balance.”
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