Revised plans for the controversial windfarm in Ballyhorgan, Finuge, are expected to draw even greater opposition than six years ago when the initial application attracted the largest amount of objections ever received by Kerry County Council on a single file.
269 separate submissions were lodged on the file in 2014 as the majority of the locality of the low-lying community set out a broad range of concerns over everything from the visual impact of the massive turbines – at 156m in height -to health and environmental concerns.
Six years on and the company behind the ten-turbine development has seen its appeal to An Bord Pleanála – following Kerry County Council’s refusal in 2014 – reactivated, with a revised plan now before the Bord.
North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group, which successfully mounted a costly case before the Supreme Court on the original plan, now expects even greater opposition to the revised one.
If so, it will see the contentious plan reignite as the flashpoint in a conflict at the very leading edge of the climate debate in Kerry – particularly in the North of the county where it is increasingly believed land is being set aside to meet the escalating needs of the State's renewable targets.
37 windfarms, built or in the pipeline, now exist within 20kms of the proposed site in Ballyhorgan. North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group member Aidan Linnane said people were becoming increasingly concerned at the prospect of the massive turbines encroaching now into the low-lying plains:
“The locals are concerned once again but the scale of the impact is becoming ever clearer with the grid route and the way Ballylongford has been destroyed with them. There is a lot more opposition this time, particularly along the route of the proposed roadworks up into Lyreacrompane to connect the farm to the grid at Reamore. Residents there are very aware of the likely impact and are now set to lodge objections under the reactivated process." Mr Linnane said that COVID was also preventing the group from holding public meetings on the issue.”
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