A Cloncreen homeowner says that he and his neighbours are worried about the prospect of having 170m wind turbines built “in their back yards”.
Last month Bord na Mona applied for planning permission to An Bord Pleanala to develop 22 separate 170m wind tubrines on Cloncreen Bog. The semi-state body says that the layout of the wind farm was developed with reference to the government’s draft wind energy guidelines on set back distance and noise. It also states that no turbine will be built closer than 700m to a house and that no turbine will be closer than 2km from the ‘village core’.
On its website, Bord na Mona says that 120 people will be employed during the construction phase and that the wind farm will support six to eight ‘long term, high quality technical jobs when built. It also says that the local community will benefit from the rates revenue generated from the development.
If the wind farm gets the go ahead, Cloncreen resident Paul Kelly says that his home will be 703m from the nearest turbine.
Speaking to the Offaly Independent he said he and his neigbours are worried about the impact that the wind farm would have on their lives.
“Everyone is worried about the health implications, although no seems to know too much about them. It’s also the sheer size. The are just short of 600 ft tall. They are absolutely massive structures. The nearest one to my house will be 703m and there are 182 houses within 1.7km.
“Imagine having a 600ft structure sitting in your back yard? It would totally destroy the landscape. The visual impact would be huge. They want to make the Midlands the wind capital of Ireland but it’s totally unfair to local residents.”
Mr Kelly, who is a member of recently established Cloncreen Anti-Windfarm Community Engagement Group, said that while he and his neighbours participated in the community forum established by Bord na Mona, they grew increasingly frustrated.
“Nobody listened to our concerns. We were basically ignored for a year. I bought my piece of land 20 years ago and built my house. I had to comply to 60 different conditions, now someone is coming in and building a turbine in my back garden.”
The Offaly Independent contacted Bord na Mona for a response, but at the time of writing had not received one.
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