People in this area don’t believe there has been a real, sincere, genuine consultation process. For me as a local area representative it would be imperative that a proper consultation process is carried out.
These were the sentiments expressed by north Leitrim’s Sinn Féin councillor Padraig Fallon this week after residents in the Corry Mountain expressed their concerns over the planned development – by Coillte – of a wind farm.
The semi-state body plans to apply to both Leitrim and Sligo county councils later this year for planning permission to develop Croagh Wind Farm on Corry Mountain.
‘Consulting with the community’
Councillor Fallon, meanwhile, told AgriLand that one of the biggest issues in all of this – in as far as he can determine – is the community consultation process.
“I live about five miles from this proposed development and know a lot of people in the community where it is being proposed.”
He continued: “People around here have a lot of concerns about the wind farm and certainly, so far, Coillte has not addressed those concerns.
“The views and considerations of the people living closest to these sites must be factored into all of this.”
The north Leitrim local area representative then went on to point out that when he was canvasing the area for the local elections “at least 50% of the people around here raised their concerns about the wind farm”.
“There are concerns around the devaluation in property and possible health impacts as well.”
He added: “If there are health implications – well then I’m not sure that the wind farm would be the right thing to do.”
Fallon is also adamant that while many residents are against the wind farm, “they are very much in favour of renewable energy”.
“All the people that I have talked to about this recognise and know the importance of renewable energy and they are pro that.”
He continued: “There may be sites across the country where developments such as the one earmarked for here could work, and might work very well, but I don’t think the site here in north Leitrim is one of them.
“Certainly, it doesn’t appear to me – at this stage – that it is suitable for a wind farm.”
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