An impasse has been reached in Parteen with a decommissioning notice from Clare County Council issued surrounding the development of a wind turbine ignored thus far.
Earlier this month, Clare County Council ordered a local developer to decommission and remove a wind turbine and base structure in Parteen before April 8th.
Planning permission had initially been granted to the applicant, Seamus Madden to “erect a single 800KW wind turbine, 73 metres high with a rotor diameter of 53 metres, and with ancillary road access, at Knockballynameth, Parteen, Co Clare”. No third party objections were received at the time.
In its enforcement notice, Clare County Council detailed that the turbine was not situated at the location permitted. A warning was issued to the developer that he may be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5000 or for a six month imprisonment.
Although Clare TD, Cathal Crowe (FF) informed ESB Networks of the enforcement notice, locals have told The Clare Echo that ESB were spotted on site attempting to connect to the national grid subsequent to this.
Parteen resident Ger Gavin admitted his biggest concern surrounding the development was its proximity to the local primary school. “I’ve one daughter gone through the school but I’ve two going to school there now, my youngest started Junior Infants this year and will be there for another seven years. I was never aware it was going up or that planning permission had been passed from conversations at the local bar, at mass or up at the school, I was driving home one day from the doctors and I saw this construction coming out of nowhere”.
“It is so dominant over the whole area, there is no way it is the required distance from people’s residence. I haven’t been in people’s houses but I’ve been out for walks and I’ve seen it from their homes,” Ger stated.
David Houlihan told The Clare Echo his view that proper public consultation was not followed. “We are very disappointed to know that in the last week despite Clare County Council’s decision, the ESB were on site to connect the turbine and it seems to be running now. We were not consulted on the initial planning application and we knew nothing about its construction until it appeared overnight, subsequently we found out that the actual planning notice was posted inside the factory premises where the public were not able to view it”.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, Ger suggested that more visible planning notices need to appear for larger scale developments. “The A4 sheet of paper was put up on the wall by the factory off the road, to me you put up an A4 size if you’re building an extension out the back but this is a piece of infrastructure that has been erected. I’ve heard that nobody objected, I’ve been told that by local politicians but the answer from everyone on that meeting was that nobody knew about it”.
He does not believe the developer has taken heed of the enforcement notice “My own thought is that a lot of money was invested in it and I don’t see it being taken down but we will have to see what happens”.
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