The planning department at Cork County Council has issued a six page request to Coillte regarding their application to erect a single wind turbine with an overall tip height of up to 92.5 metres at Carrigduff.
A decision was to be reached on Coillte’s application by Thursday, June 11. However, Coillte’s application attracted just shy of 100 observations as well as formal objections.
In the correspondence by CCC to Coillte Teoranta, it out lined that it is not yet in a position to make a decision in a case and has requested additional information.
The Planning Authority has stated that it has concerns regarding the visual impact of the proposed single wind turbine when viewed from the northern side of Knockaroura Hill and also from rural areas to the western side of the site. It stated that the number of photomontages currently presented to them was inadequate and of poor quality.
The Planning Authority has now requested revised photomontages to give a clear demonstration of the existing landscape with a turbine superimposed. It also requests photomontages/visual impact assessment from the townlands of Bearforest Lower/Upper and from the town land of Knoppogue east, Ballinvuskig/Clogheen south, the townland of Ballyviniter Lower, Spa Glen, St Joseph’s Road, Dromore North and South and further west on the N72 scenic Route in the vicinity of the townland of Pallas/Roskeen.
The Council is also seeking information regarding proposed tree felling and to proposed works to upgrade the existing forest track. Other requests include a revised screening report which provides for a full assessment of the development on the Blackwater River SAC is required.
It also cites the hen harrier and council officials noted that the EU protected species is known to breed in the area . The Planning Authority noted that the information by Coillte was deemed to be “insufficient” to assess the potential for impacts on this species from the proposed development.
It has now requested that Coillte carry out a “full breeding season hen harrier vantage point survey.” The survey shall include a recommended minimum of 36 hours of watches at each vantage point as well as timed watches over the route.
Other requests include Coillte’s proposal to stop water surface flowing onto the public road from the private passageway/ forest track as well as an assessment of existing background noise at sensitive locations.
Other points of interest for the Planning Authority include the submission of a suitably qualified archaeologist regarding the monuments. It also cited the visual impact of the proposed development on Mallow Castle which CCC outlined needs to be assessed by the archaeologist.
It was noted by Peter Varian, senior staff officer at the Planning Authority that Coillte’s application shall be declared to be withdrawn if all of the information as outlined in the letter is not submitted within six months of the date of the letter, which was on June 10, 2015.
Previously, The Corkman sought a right of reply from Coillte but was informed by their spokeswoman that it was not in a position to comment on projects during the planning application stage.
Donie Shine, Chairman of the Friends of Knockaroura Mountain told The Corkman that he is very happy with the line of questioning which CCC has taken. “From reading the report, I felt that common sense questions were being asked and I commend the planning authority. While we as a committee are certainly not wearing any gold medals at the moment, we will just have to wait and see what the outcome will be. “However, one thing is for sure, the fight over this will go on,” he said.
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