Controversy has erupted over a public information evening held last week by Element Power, the company proposing to build a 25-turbine wind farm in the Castletownmoor area near Kells.
The Meath Wind Information Group and local councillor, Paddy Meade, both claim that the company limited the numbers who could attend the event to around 17 at a time.
An Element Power spokesperson said the company would like to thank everybody who took time to attend its public information day and said the company categorically disagreed with the councillor’s version of events.
Element Power Ireland plans to construct 25 wind turbines in a newly proposed development at Castletownmoor.
Element Power was the company behind the plan to construct 46 wind turbines in the north Meath countryside, which was recently rejected by An Bord Pleanala.
Last week the company held a public consultation on the new reduced proposals in the Kenlis Suite of the Headfort Arms Hotel in Kells.
Padraig Dolan of The Meath Wind Information Group (MWIG), the community-based organisation which successfully opposed the first application, said that when members of the public started to ask probing questions, a signal seems to have been given to limit the number of people allowed in.
He said that it then seemed to be operated on a one-out, one-in basis with only 17 members of the public allowed in at any time. He said that one man was left waiting outside for at least 10 minutes before he was allowed in.
Mr Dolan said the North Wind Information Group was determined to fight these latest proposals.
Cllr Paddy Meade said he had been refused entry for a period, along with other members of the public. He described the information evening as very odd.
“Element Power unveiled new plans to the public which oddly looked the exact same as their old ones,” Cllr Meade said. He said the turbines were of the same height and impact in the same locations to the most part.
He said that when members of the public started to question the company, Element Power took the decision to shut the doors, leaving only 17 members of the public in the information room and the rest of the public outside.
“To be told that the large function room that many have often seen hold hundreds is supposedly full with 17 is unbelievable,” he claimed. He said that many people went home at that stage feeling they had wasted their evening travelling to Kells.
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