An Bord Pleanála has given the go ahead for seven wind turbines measuring 125metres in height in Shercock. The planning authority green lighted the renewable energy project subject to a number of conditions on August 3.
The company behind the €40m project say that it should be completed by 2019.
The wind turbines will be located at Taghart South and North, Glasleck and Ralaghan, Shercock, Cavan. Cavan County Council had previously given permission for nine turbines, but this was appealed to the planning regulator by a number of parties.
Cormack McBreen is a director of the firm that made the original application. Mr McBreen said that he is looking forward to the commencement of the project: “It is going on a long long time. It is a massive relief for all involved to get it over the line and to be progressing forward from here on in.”
Darren Sherry is a founding director of Galetech Energy Ltd, which got involved in the project in the latter stages. He said that there are significant financial benefits to the project.
“It is of the order of around €40m. We already employ 70 people in Cavan through our business in Cavan. This will increase that further and it will also increase employment in German manufacturers that have set up in Cavan in recent times to supply projects like this.
“There will be a large number of construction jobs, then long term there will probably be another four or five jobs in addition to the existing 70 Galetech jobs.”
Objectors to the plans stated that they had a number of concerns about the project, observing that the Gartnaneane wind farm already operates in the area. Other issues raised were that the noise impacts would be excessive, shadow flicker would exceed guidelines, that 43 houses are located within 500m of turbines and that construction traffic will impact on the local roads.
Cormack McBreen said that the company addressed the concerns of the public in the planning application: “The permission had been granted for nine turbines originally. We scaled it down to seven turbines, which are slightly larger and yield the same energy. There are a few things to be sorted out for the cabling to the grid connection and the whole money end of it has to be sorted out. The main thing now is that it has been approved and will definitely be going ahead.”
“It is in everyone’s interest that it moves forward now. Massive investment has gone into it so far, so it will be good for the community and every one around. There was very little opposition to it in the locality.”
Darren Sherry said that although the original planning application was made six years ago he is optimistic that it will now move at a fast pace: “It is a complex planning environment for energy projects. The project has gone through a number of iterations, we have only got involved in the project in the last number of years. It will be around two years before it is up and running.”
The application by Taghart Energy Limited came before the board on October 13, 2016, with the decision being reached just last week. In making the decision An Bord Pleanála said: “Having regard to the proximity of the turbines to existing houses, and the noise and shadow flicker results set out in the EIS which are at the higher end of the acceptable range in a number of cases, it is clear that this is a sensitive and constrained site.”
The 126 metre turbine has become the norm in planning applications.
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