Ummeras Wind Farm Limited/Statkraft is seeking planning permission of Kildare County Council to erect 5 wind turbines, with a tip height of up to 169 metres.
The proposal is for a site in the townlands of Ummeras Beg,Coolatogher, Mullaghroe Lower,Ummeras More and Coolsickin/Quinsborough.
Kildare County Council is due to issue its determination on March 18th.
Mary Fanning McCormack is a journalist and Quinsboro resident.
Speaking to Kildare Today, she says this area is the focus of tourism projects including the €5 million Barrow Blueway and the €60 million regeneration of the Ballykelly Mills, and a proposed peatland park.
Hugh Corcoran is of the Monasterevin-Rathangan Wind Awareness Group.
He says the developer’s proposed €125,000 annual community benefit fund won’t match up to the potential benefits of the area’s tourism plans
Clem Ryan was joined on this morning’s edition of the programme by Mary Fanning McCormack, and Hugh Corcoran of the Monasterevin-Rathangan Wind Awareness Group.
Developer, Statkraft, has issued this statement to Kfm Radio:
“Statkraft has consulted and is continuing to consult extensively with all those living in the vicinity of the proposed Ummeras wind farm. This intensive programme of work began in March 2020 and while disrupted due to Covid restrictions, an online virtual consultation platform has recently gone live. This virtual platform along with a host of accurate project information can be accessed on www.ummeraswindfarm.ie
All 180 households living within 1.7km of the five proposed sites have been either visited or had information posted to them – since calling door-to-door was duly rendered impossible due to Covid.
The Statkraft team are available both online and by telephone at all times and have engaged with hundreds of people as well as managing a large number of queries and requests for information in the last ten months. This has been a very practical and worthwhile exercise and has included many more than just those living in the immediate area. Among the outcomes have been a new approach on traffic management which would see restrictions on construction traffic in certain areas in line with local feedback.
Ideas have been sought on the best possible use of a Community Benefit Fund which would be worth in excess of €150,000 per year to the local area. Among the proposals suggested by locals thus far, include improvements to broadband, development of an energy efficiency scheme, support for a men’s shed and a local community garden initiative. Statkraft also supported a ‘Meals on Wheels’ initiative in the immediate area during the early days of the pandemic.
Statkraft is always eager to engage with locals, listen to their views and develop meaningful relationships with communities. It has been adopting this approach in the 17 countries in which it operates for many years and is an experienced, professional developer of renewable energy with a track-record of excellence and working in harmony with local communities. ” ENDS
The development description, as published by Kildare County Council:
“5 No. wind turbines with a tip height of up to 169m and all associated foundations and hardstanding areas; 1 no. on-site electrical substation; 1 no. temporary construction compound; all associated underground electrical and communications cabling connecting the turbines to the proposed on-site electrical substation; provision of new site access tracks and associated drainage; erection of 1 no. permanent meteorological mast of up to 100m in height; and all associated site development works, ancillary works and equipment. Permission is sought for a period of 10 years and an operational life of 30 years from the date of commissioning of the entire wind farm. A concurrent planning application is being submitted to Offaly County Council in relation to the elements of the proposed development that are within County Offaly, which consist of road/junction accommodation works to facilitate the turbine deliveries associated with the proposed wind farm development in Co. Kildare. An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) have been prepared in respect of the proposed development. All within the townlands of
Ummeras Beg,Coolatogher, Mullaghroe Lower,Ummeras More and Coolsickin/Quinsborough,County Kildare.”
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