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Plans for 17 wind turbines either side of Cork-Waterford border

A Kilkenny-based renewable energy company has lodged a planning application for 17 turbines measuring 150m-high across two sites either side of the Cork and Waterford border.

Lyrenacarriga Wind Farm is proposed for 733 hectares 5km south-east of Tallow and 9km north-west of Youghal, part of which is Coillte-owned.

The application was submitted to An Bord Pleanála by Curns Energy Limited, which is a joint venture between RWE Renewables Ireland Ltd (formerly Innogy Renewables Ireland Ltd) and Highfield Energy Ltd.

The proposed scheme is designated as “strategic infrastructural development”, which was upheld in a High Court challenge last year from chairman of the Blackwater Wind Aware group Paddy Massey.

Eleven of the 5MW capacity turbines will be sited on west Waterford and six in east Cork.

The Co Waterford section is located within a “preferred” area for wind energy development, as designated by the Waterford County Development Plan, while the section in Co Cork is located within an area “open to consideration” for wind energy development under the local authority’s 2014 County Development Plan.

The company says the structures will be located at a minimum of 700m from dwellings, under proposed new Government guidelines.

Blackwater Wind Aware claims the development will have a devastating impact on the region, economically, socially and personally.

Mr Massey said that given the scale of the turbines being proposed, a minimum distance of 2km, as recommended in the Environment and Public Health (Wind Turbines) Bill 2012, is required to prevent negative impact on householders, including health repercussions.

Describing proposed new guidelines as “unfit for purpose” and “developer-led” Mr Massey said “people who have had to live in the shadow of wind turbines haven’t been listened to”.

He said the turbines would impact negatively on a scenic landscape that is itself up to 197m high.

With several wind farms already located across west Waterford and further applications anticipated, the chairman fears “the whole of west Waterford will become one massive wind farm”.

Submissions to the application close on March 5 and Blackwater Wind Aware has opened a Go Fund Me page to assist those who cannot afford the €50 submission fee to Bord Pleanála.

The group says further information is available at www.blackwaterwindaware.com *

Meanwhile Waterford Council has refused planning to a Kilkenny’s Knocknamona Windfarm Ltd to increase the size of eight proposed wind turbines from 126m to 155m at Glenbeg, near Dungarvan.