Objections have been lodged against an application for the development of wind turbines outside Miltown Malbay, which would be up to 175 metres in height.
The development would involve works in the townlands of Glendine North, Fahanlunaghta More, Curraghodea, Letterkelly, Cloghaun More, Cloghaun beg, Silverhill, Doonsallagh East, Shanavogh East and Knockalassa.
In her objection, Marian Kenneally said the proposal would seriously affect her home. “The proposed development consists of wind turbines which would be the largest in the country, standing at 1.75 metres. These wind turbines will be covering over my family’s homes and my own.”
She claimed that the applicant, Slieveacurry Limited, hasn’t liaised with her. “I was never approached by any of the developers and did not hear about this until the evening of the public consultation in Miltown Malbay-which I could not attend as it was by appointment only.”
Ms Kenneally added; “The construction of these wind turbines will block sunlight from my home and I fear there will be a shadow flicker similar to the one caused by the wind turbines on Mount Callan.
“My view of the countryside and valley will be taken from me with this development.”
Patrick and Laura MacMahon of Ballinoe, Miltown Malbay claimed that the World Health Organisation recommends a distance of 1.5km between wind turbines and homes, while the French Medical Association recommends a 2km gap. They also say they “had no contact with the developer who states they called to every house within 1.5km, this is clearly untrue.”
In his objection, Aaron Skerrit raised concerns about the impact on his elderly parents. “They are residents of the area and OAPs. If the wind turbines are positioned too close to their home the noise would be a concern, I feel this would have a devastating effect on their health and well being.”
He added, “My parents have worked hard all their lives and contributed to society. They wanted to retire in peace and quiet in the area where they grew up, only for this to be proposed. They have owned the site for 20 plus years, buying it with a view to one day building and living in a beautiful location. Through hard work and determination, they built a house that they are proud of, with scenic views to the coast. My mother and father invested a lot of time, money and effort to comply with all regulations to build a safe and wonderful house to fit in with the natural landscape. The wind turbines would interfere with such a beautiful place and impact the local community.”
The construction of windfarms is emerging as a controversial issue, with numerous objections also having been made to plans for one close to Kilmihil. Another application for 19 turbines between Bodyke, Tuamgraney, Broadford and Killaloe is to be lodged soon.
Revised national guidelines on windfarms are due to be published and Clare TD Cathal Crowe feels they are badly needed. ““Last week I met with Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien and I asked him to issue new guidelines on wind energy to local authorities in as quick a timeframe as possible.
“The guidelines have been in draft format for over a year but have yet to be ratified and issued to local authorities.
“The new guidelines will include tightened restrictions in relation to wind farms – one important stipulation being that turbines should be set back 500m from homes.
“If that condition was in place it would appease some of the concerns being brought to my attention in recent weeks, whereas the current applications are being assessed on the existing, much more lenient rules.”
He claimed that harnessing wind offshore is more effective, less disruptive and could be particularly good for Clare.
“I really believe it should be based off shore where winds speeds are at their highest. I understand that some inland wind farms are only 40% efficient and whilst they are helpful in terms of generating renewable power, they are massively controversial. Offshore farms would be far less controversial and more reliable with a higher output of electricity.
“Finally, I have suggested to the Minister and to Clare County Council that Moneypoint is perfectly positioned to be processing plant for offshore wind energy. It’s position and also its high voltage lines running throughout the country make this a very viable option and would secure employment and the economy of West Clare.”