A Leitrim community group are “hopeful” they can overturn the decision by Leitrim and Sligo County Councils to grant planning permission to Coillte to build 10 industrial wind turbines.
Eight of the giant turbines are located in Leitrim and two in Sligo, close to Drumkeerin and Dromahair.
These turbines are 70% taller than the existing turbines in the area with many claiming they will would dominate the scenic landscape.
Wind Aware Dromahair, a local community group campaigning in opposition to Coillte’s development at Croagh Mountain, are disappointed that the councils “hammered down” their submissions to the planning application.
Over 200 objections were submitted to Sligo and Leitrim County Councils, with Wind Aware Dromahair spokesperson Adrienne Diamond adding that one of the submissions had 124 names and comments gathered over 72 hours from the local community.
The group are now channeling their anger at the decisions into an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.
Wind Aware Dromahair are working with environmentalist Jack O’Sullivan to develop new threads in opposition to the giant wind farms.
Since the planning has been granted the group has been consulting with a lot of groups and individuals. They met with two researchers from Maynooth University who have written papers on wind farms and the collection and use of electricity in Ireland.
The group have also been encouraged by the High Court ruling which recently overturned an application for giant wind farms by Bord na Mona near Lanesboro, in Co Longford.
“We are keen to follow up with Peter Sweetman and will use any details from that case as part of our objection,” Adrienne told the paper.
They have had some political interest with Sinn Féin Deputy Martin Kenny viewing the site recently.
Adrienne said the “sheer scale of them” is the biggest problem with the wind turbines as they are almost double what are already constructed.
“The extraordinarily large scale of these wind turbines, if built, would dominate the scenic landscape and tower above even the existing turbines in the area and would undermine the growing tourism sector in Leitrim and Sligo.”
As someone who works in tourism (Adventure Gently) and is delighted to see a steady increase in visitors to Leitrim, Adrienne is in no doubt “they will impact tourism.”
The likelihood of further landslides is also “an unacceptable risk, along with the loss of biodiversity,” according to the group.
It is also understood that during construction of the wind farm, thousands of tonnes of bog would be dug up and replaced by concrete.
“This loss of carbon storage is only one example of the many un-assessed environmental costs of the manufacture, transportation and construction of wind turbines,” the group states.
Wind Aware Dromahair also question the need for yet another wind farm.
There are already 15 in close proximity to the proposed Croagh site with many more to be constructed this year in the Manorhamilton area.
Wind Aware Dromahair are asking all Leitrim people to say ‘no’ to giant wind turbines and yes to smaller scale sustainable, renewable solutions that truly create employment and are less damaging to our precious landscape.
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