Sliabh Luachra Windfarm Awareness Group will hold the first of two local information meetings tonight (June 7) in Ballydesmond Community Centre concerning plans to construct 14 wind turbines across seven local townlands.
These meetings follow Kerry County Council’s (KCC) decision last week to refuse planning permission sought by Silverbirch Renewables Limited to build the turbines – which would be 150-metres’ tall – across 15 individual landholdings in Ballynahulla, Barna, Knocknageeha, Lisheen, Reanasup, Reaboy, and Tooreenagarriv.
KCC rejected the proposal on visual, environmental, and residential grounds, but the applicant can lodge an appeal to An Bord Pleanála if they so wish.
The local authority said a proposed development of its scale would create a significant visual intrusion and impact on the character of the landscape. The planning authority also said it was not satisfied that the proposed development would not cause pollution of local watercourses, and expressed concern that the development would cause the loss of the hen harrier hunting habitat.
“We welcome Kerry County Council’s decision,” Thomas Fitzpatrick of Sliabh Luachra Windfarm Awareness Group told The Kerryman.
“There were 60 objections, along with a group objection holding over 180 signatures, but it’s a cautious welcome seeing as the applicants can appeal it. Our campaign will continue, and we’ve delivered over 1,000 letter to houses in the area.
“We’re having a meeting on June 7 in Ballydesmond Community Centre from 7pm to 10pm, and we’ll have another meeting in Teach Fáilte in Gneeveguilla the following night. We’d encourage everyone, even people that wouldn’t be near the turbines, to call in.”
Contributors at the meeting will address concerns over matters such as environmental issues, health issues, and proximity of proposed turbines to homes, and Mr Fitzpatrick added that a map will be displayed to illustrate to people where the wind turbines would be located.
The evening will also feature video presentation relating to life living near windfarms. Mr Fitzpatrick said around 180 houses in Gneeveguilla, Ballydesmond, and Ballydesmond Village would be within a kilometre of turbines if the development proceeded.
The Kerryman contacted Silverbirch Renewables Ltd for comment but did not receive a response at time of print.
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