The community of Lemanaghan and surrounding areas in west Offaly have sent in over 1,500 submissions to Offaly County Council in a bid to have a controversial clause in the Draft County Development Plan amended to prohibit the construction of wind energy projects.
Friday is the closing date for submissions to the Council as part of the public consultation process on the Draft Development Plan, and locals in the west Offaly area of Lemanaghan are seeking to have the plan amended to remove the historic site of Lemanaghan Bog as an area open to consideration for wind energy.
The local community has mounted a vigorous campaign of opposition to plans by Bord na Móna to build a wind farm at the historic site of Lemanaghan Bog, and the campaign gathered pace when a motion to remove the bog, in its entirely, as an area open to consideration for wind energy was narrowly defeated by 9 votes to 8 at the May meeting of Offaly County Council.
Fine Gael Cllr, John Clendennen, who was one of eight councillors to support the motion, recently visited the site of the controversial proposed wind farm in Lemanaghan Bog and met with locals opposed to the project.
A number of other local representatives have also visited the site to lend their support to the local community, including Cllrs Ken Smollen, Clare Claffey and Carol Nolan, all of whom supported the Motion in May. The other five Councillors who lent their support to the Motion were Sean O’Brien; Mark Hackett; Noel Cribbin; John Foley and Liam Quinn.
Bord na Móna have confirmed that they hope to be in a position to submit a planning application for the proposed wind farm in Lemanagahan bog “in mid-2022” but say that the exact location and height of the wind turbines “have not yet been determined.”
The company is planning to engage in a second round of public consultation with local residents in the affected areas “in the coming months” where more detailed information “including a draft layout with details on the proposed number and height of turbines” will be available. This consultation will be subject to Covid-19 restrictions.